Vietnam’s New Look

09 october 2013 / fashion / nga hoang images courtesy of min hanh

01-09 Minh Hanh’s collections.


Minh Hanh is part of a new generation of Vietnamese designers, and dressmaking is in her blood.

Minh Hanh is a member of the first generation of Vietnamese designers and a great visionary in fashion. Born into a Hue family in the central highlands of Pleiku, Hanh soon became fascinated by the colorful skirts worn by tribeswomen. Hanh’s family constantly moved from place to place. Every time they moved, she brought with her only a sewing machine with which she made clothes for her dolls and later her first school outfit. After her graduation, she worked as a newspaper layout designer, with her break into the fashion industry coming in the 1990s, a time when fashion in Vietnam was still in its infancy and the garment industry dominated. By mixing up Vietnamese ethnic minority tribal patterns and intricate net and velvet embroidery work with a contemporary edge, Hanh is able to stamp her identity on the designs. She constantly weaves classic symbols of Asia—prints of butterflies, dragons and flowers—into her fabrics to create a culturally rich look. She also flies the flag for ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese costume of long, form-fitting tunics over trousers, breathing new life into it whenever possible.


For more on Vietnamese fashion designers, pick up the October/November issue of Surface Asia


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