Decked out in flamboyant outfits, a group of students is busily preparing for a photo shoot to promote their graduation show. With cameras flashing around heavily made-up models, the studio at the Institute of Vocational Education in Kwai Chung is a hive of activity. These creative students are some of 45 graduates from the Hong Kong Design Institute participating in the Hong Kong Design Institute Design Graduation Show 2009, at the Hong Kong Convention Centre from July 25 to 27. The show will feature product and interior design, printing and digital media, and fashion and textiles designs, with two fashion shows on July 25 and 26 highlighting clothing, hair and make-up. Jewellery, pottery and other items will also be on display . Rachel Yung Wing-tai, 22, a final-year higher diploma student in fashion image design, is one of the participants. Her work - a red and gold Spanish-style outfit with a cape embroidered with flowers - combines the styles of outfits worn by matadors and flamenco dancers. She said she got her inspiration from the passion and vitality of the Spanish culture. 'I love watching Spanish movies and listening to Spanish music.' Shaun Cheung Shun-ping, senior lecturer of the department of fashion and textiles at the Hong Kong Design Institute, said keen observation was the key to establishing a niche in the design world. He said with foreign fashion labels dominating the local market, the government should do more to nurture local design talent. 'Designers in Korea get a lot of financial support from the government to promote their own labels, whereas, local talent often lacks financial resources to strike out on its own,' he said. Frankie Ng Man-ching, associate professor in fashion and textile design at Polytechnic University, said the local public lacked appreciation of creative design. 'Japanese people are proud of their own designs and throw their weight behind their design industry,' he said. 'From packaging for bottled water to hip clothes worn by youths, everything in Japan overflows with sophisticated design concepts.' Mr Ng said young designers should expose themselves to as many media as possible before confining themselves to a single discipline. 'Design ideas can be gleaned from everything like politics and culture. Instead of committing students to a particular stream at a young age, teachers should nurture their all-round development.'