YOUR NEXT HOT FASHION IS MADE IN VIETNAM

Xuan-Thu Nguyen hadn’t been back to Vietnam in eight years when she landed in Ho Chi Minh City for the annual Vietnam International Fashion Week last April. Xuan-Thu, a Vietnamese-born, Dutch-raised fashion designer, is based in Paris, where she’s going on her third season as an invited member of the exclusive Paris Haute Couture Week — basically a designer’s life achievement unlocked. But that global exposure still hadn’t fully prepared her for what she saw in her birthplace.

The scene in Vietnam had changed. The style, design and quality Xuan-Thu saw were more refined, international, creative and, well, just better. She remembers one dress in particular by Vietnamese-born designer Devon Nguyen, who was also raised in Europe. The dress was white and sleeveless and included surreal 3D details that surrounded the model, “like paper airplanes, flying by in a warm summer evening,” she recalls.

I SAW THE GROWTH [IN VIETNAM’S FASHION DESIGN INDUSTRY].

XUAN-THU NGUYEN, VIETNAMESE-BORN FASHION DESIGNER

When “Vietnam” and “clothes” are used in the same sentence, it usually has to do with that “Made in” tag. Vietnam’s garment and textile industry is the country’s largest source of exports and employs millions of people. But visit Vietnam’s fashion weeks, take a stroll around trendy Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City or even browse Rihanna’s Instagram and you’ll see that cool is on the country’s mind. With more designers returning from abroad to share their skills — and with new homegrown talent — Vietnam’s fashion scene is bursting at the seams. The country known traditionally for manufacturing clothes is increasingly becoming recognized for designing them. And from the avant-garde to the traditional, it’s a beautiful scene to watch.

“I saw the growth,” says Xuan-Thu.

The country really started wearing its fashion heart on its sleeve in the ’90s, says Hang Vo, a fashion design lecturer at ADS Vietnam Design Institute in Ho Chi Minh City. One of the first designers to go global was Minh Hanh, also from that city. She toured her collections — which embraced traditional Vietnamese weaving techniques and intricate patterns inspired by minority tribes — around Asia and Europe. Designers like Do Manh Cuong, who worked with Christian Dior and Dominique Sirop in France, also returned to Vietnam after studying fashion abroad and helped inspire Vietnamese not only with new designs but also with new business acumen.

Gettyimages 674059906

An outfit by Vietnamese-born designer Devon Nguyen shown during Vietnam International Fashion Week 2017.

When Hang started out in fashion design 10 years ago, there were only four options for formal study in fashion. But last October, at the Fashionology Festival in Ho Chi Minh City, she was amazed on the final night when students from 15 fashion schools packed the venue to show off their talent. And those 15 were just the schools located in the city.

There’s plenty of inspiration to go around. The more experimental designs of Nguyen Cong Tri, the Vietnamese designer of the moment, can be too much for the average human. But they’re perfect for U.S. pop stars. Rihanna posted a photo on Instagram of her wearing one of Nguyen’s designs this year. His oversize white dress shirt looks like it has been zapped by a grow ray — ending up more dress than shirt. Rihanna’s head and wrists poke out of the huge collar and cuffs like an elegant Fievel’s. Katy Perry ordered Nguyen’s stageworthy designs for her 2017 Witnessworld tour. Hang describes Nguyen’s clothes as trendy yet glamorous and, perhaps even more important, “100 percent made in Vietnam.”

Tam Nguyen, 21, says his parents first thought he wanted to be a tailor when he began studying fashion. Now, he is about to graduate from ADS and is already selling his own clothing line in Australia. And his parents get it. With all the various fashion weeks and glossy Vietnamese magazines, Tam says, fashion design has increasingly caught on with his generation. Vietnam is especially great if the designer’s focus is traditional techniques, he says; it’s sometimes a struggle for students to get material for something more modern. For that, you’re better off being in one of Asia’s other fashion capitals like China, Japan or Thailand. But maybe not for long.

Vietnam has gone through enormous social and economic change in the past few decades, and so have people’s ideas of fashion, says Hang. As luxuries multiply, she predicts, open-minded young talents will contribute more conceptual and avant-garde collections. There are also creative nostalgic trends like “pop-art áo dài” or “minority tribe streetwear,” she says, and a new emphasis on sustainable and ethical fashion brands.

rihanna nguyen cong tri

Singer Rihanna wearing Vietnamese designer Nguyễn Công Trí’s design in March 2017.

Vietnam is in some ways still finding its place on the international fashion scene. Designers are experimenting with their “heritage, methodology and ethos,” says Hang. But with high-quality craftsmanship taken from the country’s tradition of garment-making — and the boundless creativity of the younger generation — Vietnam, says Hang, is just getting started.

Meanwhile, Tam wants to work and study abroad after graduating. But after he gains some experience, he says, he’ll return home: He wants to connect generations of Vietnamese through fashion design. And besides, for fashion, Vietnam might be the place to be by then. It’s already getting there.

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Sundance Film Review: ‘Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist’

Offbeat British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood proves a reluctant but intriguing subject in Lorna Tucker’s celebratory docu-portrait.

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist

The word “icon” in the title of any biographical documentary is more often than not a promise of unqualified celebration, and so it is in “Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist,” Lorna Tucker’s consistently entertaining, enthralled portrait of aberrant British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Sharp-lined but entirely flattering, rather like one of Westwood’s showiest catwalk gowns, Tucker’s film initially sets up intriguing friction between camera and subject, as the 76-year-old designer proves an ornery, recalcitrant interviewee: “Do we have to cover every bit of it, you know?” she moans at the outset. “It’s so boring to say all this.” “Westwood” resists meeting her spikiness in kind, approaching with fabulously accessorized cap in hand as it weaves lively archive footage and similarly awed talking heads around her queenly presence.

Westwood is a sufficiently fascinating figure for this straightforward strategy to yield satisfying rewards, and Tucker’s film should be a popular pick on the documentary festival circuit and subsequently on streaming platforms — both areas where fashion-world studies, with their point-and-shoot visual glitz and high celebrity quotient, tend to play well. (It’s given extra appeal in that regard by a light-footed 80-minute runtime; if anything, the film risks feeling a tad rushed in its overview.) For a tribute to the woman who brought the challenging sensibility and aesthetic of punk to popular culture, however, “Westwood” doesn’t break many rules of its own.

That said, the film’s more conventional trappings aptly underline how Westwood, in some ways cannily and in others accidentally, has grown from a counterculture rebel into a revered establishment figure, appointed a dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006. Her 1970s ascent to punk royalty, meanwhile, followed a working-class upbringing and young adulthood that initially promised a far milder future. Having dropped out of art school after doubting the financial viability of her passion, Westwood married, had a son and became a schoolteacher, before shifting social tides in the mid-1960s — and, crucially, an affair with situationist-inspired art student and future Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren — carried her away from sensible domesticity.

Westwood’s life is a rich narrative, rife with such reversals and reinventions: It’s a wonder, really, that it hasn’t prompted a biopic yet. Tucker, a former fashion model whose previous directing work includes promos for the Westwood brand, runs through it in engaging, slightly discursive style — reflecting, it feels, the manner in which her colorful but guarded subject related it to her. Perhaps it’s due to Westwood’s wary interview temperament that some key aspects of her biography are given short shrift: The punk movement, in particular, is discussed only at surface level, and “Westwood” never fully gets to grips with the complications of McLaren, Westwood’s relationship with him and their joint celebrity. (Their son, fellow fashion entrepreneur Joseph Corré, says more than she does on his father, and damningly so.)

Past alternates with present, meanwhile, as “Westwood” surveys the designer at work in her current fashion empire: cycling to headquarters, surveying models and style files, and fussing over her own designs with a critical, sometimes disassociated eye. (“Why did I want a small hem there?” she sneers at one blouse. “It’s crap, I don’t like any of this s—t.”) Her intense working partnership with her Austrian artistic director and second husband Andreas Kronthaler is perceptively scrutinized; a louche, witty interviewee, amazed and exasperated in equal measure by his wife’s brilliance, he fills in many of the gaps that Westwood is too restless or frustrated to explain.

The second half of the film, in particular, develops an interesting tension between success and satisfaction in its depiction of designer as businesswoman. Amid her international dealings and growing side occupation as an ardent environmental activist — the film briefly follows her on a Greenpeace mission to the Arctic — Westwood sometimes candidly voices her concerns that her brand has grown too big for her, and that she’s lost some aesthetic control of it. “I don’t need to sell anything I don’t like,” she says tartly. It’s not a question that anyone else dares to broach: True to its title, “Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist” is chiefly out to gild a remarkable, independent legacy. As the film unrolls its rousing, “Bolero”-scored closing montage of the stunning catwalk visions Westwood has given the fashion world over four decades, you can hardly say it’s undeserved.

Sundance Film Review: ‘Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist’

Reviewed online, London, Jan. 28, 2018. (In Sundance Film Festival — World Cinema Documentary Competition.)

PRODUCTION: (Documentary — U.K.) A Dogwoof presentation of a Finished Films production in association with Tdog Prods., Passion Pictures. (International sales: Dogwoof, London.) Producers: Eleanor Emptage, Shirine Best, Nicole Stott, John Battsek. Executive producers: Anna Godas, Leo Haidar, Emma Dutton, Ian Sharp, Rebecca Joerin-Sharp, Andrew Ruhemann. Co-executive producer: Adam Betteridge.

CREW: Director: Lorna Tucker. Camera (color): Sam Brown, James Moriarty. Editor: Paul Carlin. Music: Dan Jones.

WITH: Vivienne Westwood, Andreas Kronthaler, Ben Westwood, Joe Corré, Carlo D’Amario, Christopher Di Pietro, Bella Freud, Kate Moss.

Source : Variety.com

Jennifer Lawrence: Hair Style File

She achieved global fame for her role in The Hunger Games, won an Oscar aged 22 for Silver Linings Playbook, was snapped up as the face of Dior in 2012 and hasn’t stopped since. Consequently, Jennifer Lawrence has walked as many red carpets as stars twice her age. Plenty of opportunities for hair experimentation then – the actress has tried pixie crops and extensions, blonde and brunette hues, as well as spawning copycats the world over with her much-Googled “Katniss braid”. Track her hair journey here.

September 2007

 

What to look out for at London Fashion Week

Fyodor Golan collection
The latest collection from womenswear brand Fyodor Golan debuted on Friday

It was good news for fans of catwalks and cocktail parties on Thursday evening as London Fashion Week got under way.

The event is held twice a year, in February and September, and is sandwiched between New York Fashion Week (which concluded on Wednesday), and Milan, which begins next week.

Designers’ collections remain a closely-guarded secret until they debut on the catwalk, but here are a few things to look out for over the weekend.

Plus-size campaigners
Hayley Hasselhoff (fourth from the left) led the protest on Friday

A group of plus-size models took to the streets of London on Friday morning to protest against the use of size zero models at fashion week.

They were led by David Hasselhoff’s daughter, 25-year-old Hayley – a vocal advocate for the plus-sized model industry.

Criticism of the use of slim models in fashion is nothing new, but the campaign to see larger body types represented has been gathering steam in recent years.

One designer who has actively started using plus-size models is Michael Kors, whose show in New York earlier this week starred Ashley Graham and Sabina Karlsson.

The body image debate isn’t the only controversy that regularly crops up at fashion weeks.

A Peta protestor
Campaigners for Peta protested at London Fashion Week on Friday

Anti-fur campaigners often protest outside fashion shows. Several turned up to Marc Jacobs’s show in New York on Wednesday with placards reading: “Animals are not ours to wear.”

Meanwhile, in London, campaigners for Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) went topless as part of a flash mob protest at one of fashion week’s flagship venues on the Strand on Friday.

Christopher Bailey’s last Burberry show

Christopher Bailey and a Burberry model
Christopher Bailey has been credited with helping turn the brand around

In October, Christopher Bailey announced he was leaving Burberry after 17 years.

The company’s chief creative officer has been credited with helping turn the brand around.

When he arrived in 2001, Burberry’s brand had become overexposed and associated with footballers and soap stars rather than high-end fashionistas.

Bailey helped change all that, helping the famous check print become more chic, cutting-edge and exclusive – drastically increasing the company’s share price in the process.

The new Burberry rainbow scarf next to the LGBT flag
The new Burberry scarf is inspired by the LGBT flag

All eyes will be on Burberry on Saturday evening as the company’s final collection under his tenure debuts.

The collection will be at least partly dedicated to LGBT communities – after the label unveiled a rainbow print earlier this week.

Rubbish and recycling

 

Silk-like material made from recycled plastic bottles

Two designers say they’re bringing a “political message” to the London event with clothes made from plastic bottles and sustainable wool.

Vin and Omi say it’s almost impossible for low-cost high street clothes to be ethical.

The pair make their own textiles and say they want people to think about the waste created by our clothes.

They aren’t the only designers who are keen to champion sustainability.

Richard Malone model
Richard Malone’s show was one of the first of the LFW schedule
Richard Malone collection for London Fashion Week
His show was inspired by the market stalls from his hometown of Wexford

One of the first shows in London was Irish designer Richard Malone, whose latest collection was inspired by the markets in his hometown of Wexford.

In a trade-like setting complete with rolled-up carpets, models were seen wearing clothes that looked like they could’ve been made made with materials gathered from colourful and varied fabric stalls (and even from discarded fruit nets).

Malone also uses recycled fabrics and still works with a community of weavers in southern India who he has partnered with since his first collection.

Homegrown talent

Molly Goddard
Molly Goddard’s designs helped her win the British emerging talent prize at the 2016 Fashion Awards

There are plenty of established designers and brands at London Fashion Week, but the industry will also be closely watching collections from some of fashion’s newer upcoming talents.

Sadie Williams, who was named one of Selfridges Bright Young Things in 2013, will show her latest collection on Saturday afternoon.

Molly Goddard, who won the British emerging talent prize at the 2016 Fashion Awards, will also be showcasing her latest collection on Saturday.

But it’s not all about clothes – as shoe designer Sophia Webster launches her latest collection on Monday.

Sophia Webster
Sophia Webster is known for her eye-catching footwear designs

London Fashion Week runs until Tuesday.

Michael Kors Collection

Pop hits of the past half-century formed a medley on the Michael Kors soundtrack—everything from Julie Andrews’s “My Favorite Things” to Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind.” The lively sampling was the key to this collection. Kors called it a love letter to individual style.

Binx Walton, the beauty from Tennessee, opened in a floral dress, a tartan cape, and leopard-print boots—a mash-up that exemplified the playful formula here. The days of designer diktats are over (indeed, Kors hasn’t been the only designer to say so this season), so he did what any big-picture guy would do: He gave us a little bit of everything. There were grunge plaids and slip dresses, a “Jackie Onassis at Doubleday” camel leather trench, and boyish pairings of Argyle and plaid or Fair Isle and pajama silk. A Margot Tenenbaum tracksuit walked the runway and also appeared in the front row on a luminous Zendaya. No designer can be all things to all people, but Kors did his darndest here. For an industry veteran, he has a very 21st-century savvy about how the fans are the ones who are now in charge.

The two biggest bits of news were a collaboration with the illustrator David Downton that yielded a va-va-voom-y hourglass dress painted with women’s portraits, plus a range of leather totes to match, and Kors’s embrace of faux fur. This was a feel-good collection for more reasons than one. At a moment when the issue of casting often trumps clothes themselves, Kors’s show felt effortlessly inclusive in multiple ways. There were unknowns and there were runway vets, twiggy girls and curvy ones, male and female models from all over the globe. Kors sees beauty everywhere—a fitting message for Valentine’s Day.

Calvin Klein’s Electrifying Popcorn Fashion Apocalypse

Finally, some clothes that make you sit up and stare.

Calvin Klein, fall 2018. Credit Shawn Brackbill for The New York Times

New York Fashion Week finally came to life Tuesday evening in the shadow of the valley of — well, not death exactly. More like a post-apocalyptic prairie seen through a B-movie lens. Toto, what happened to Kansas?

Raf Simons buried it under 50,000 gallons of popcorn.

Or, to be fair, he buried the floor of the American Stock Exchange building under 50,000 gallons of popcorn, trucked in for a wackadoodle Calvin Klein show. It piled up in drifts around the weathered sides of four skeletal barns hung with blood red Sterling Ruby mop heads and papered with spectral black and white Warhol reproductions. It was crushed under the shoes of guests, so little motes of popcorn dust blew through the air. They landed on the coats and skirts and hair of Michael B. Jordan and Nicole Kidman and Millie Bobby Brown (among many other famous people), making everyone look as though they had an unfortunate case of dandruff or had wandered into a Food Channel version of nuclear winter.

Then a model in a bright orange hazmat suit and waders appeared. Let’s rephrase: Welcome to the pop-calypse.

Since he arrived at the brand that bluejeans and minimalism built, Mr. Simons, who is from Belgium, has been fixated on defining his own brand of twisted Americana, largely built on the twin pillars of Laura Ingalls Wilder and “On the Road” (the Netflix versions) — after the rot set in. This season he took it even further, with women in giant tweed coats over sweeping lawn skirts and men in sweater vests that looked more like life vests over skinny suits and shirts buttoned tight to the neck. Everyone wore knit Fair Isle balaclavas and often big firefighters’ gloves in silver foil, which also was used in false-front A-line cocktail dresses trimmed in white lace that turned into camper-blanket sheaths at the back.

Calvin Klein, fall 2018. Credit Shawn Brackbill for The New York Times

Also the two-tone cowboy shirts and placket trousers that Mr. Simons has used in every collection since his Calvin debut, and skinny striped sweaters and sweaters with Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner knit in, plus apron dresses with nothing underneath, so the breasts were exposed (a strange segue into Naughty Nellie from the general store). Quilting squares were pieced onto crisp white shirts and reworked as bias-cut chiffon evening gowns. The effect was all very survivalist. Simon & Garfunkle’s “Sound of Silence” played in the background. So did “California Dreamin’ ” by The Mamas & The Papas.

It was both a reductionist view of the country’s most accessible myths and also stomach-churningly right. That’s where we are now: drowning in a sea of puffed corn kernels and empty calories, appropriating the appropriators.

You might not like it all (though it’s not hard to imagine those homespun balaclavas becoming a thing the next time the temperatures hit minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit), but it was viscerally recognizable, the way really good fashion — which is not the same thing as wearable clothes — is supposed to be.

The kind of fashion that suggests a different way of expressing how you think of yourself or your world at that moment. The kind of fashion that has been largely missing from the runways this week.

Coach, fall 2018. Credit Angela Weiss/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Instead it has seemed like most designers were strolling around, heads turned to the sky, la-la-la-ing and minding their own business (in every sense of that phrase) rather than pushing themselves to confront the cultural mutation occurring around them. Maybe it takes an outsider’s perspective, or gumption. It’s risky to pontificate on national identity.

Coach, fall 2018. Credit Landon Nordeman for The New York Times

Fashion often likes to talk about how it offers an escape from everyday ugliness, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with beauty for beauty’s sake. Run off to the stage! Flee into show tunes!

Michael Kors did, with a variety act set to a medley of “Raindrops on Roses” and “Respect” (and Beyoncé and “West Side Story” and Madonna and more), featuring a medley of his greatest hits. Mod tartans mixed it up with bejeweled 1950s starlet sheaths; leopard furs with striped coed sweaters; flirty slip dresses with swaddling puffer stoles; camo leathers with sunflower gowns, all with matching medley footwear (pumps and winkle-pickers and boot stompers and kitten heels).

There was something for everyone — even a KO sweatshirt (get it)? — but in a time of turmoil, such style schmaltz can seem a little empty. Confrontation often isn’t pretty, but it gets you somewhere.

It’s probably not a coincidence that Stuart Vevers, the creative director of Coach and a Brit, shares many of the same American obsessions as Mr. Simons, especially when it comes to the Badlands and biker dressing. It’s expressed differently — his men and women look like luxe hobos, loaded up with tiny prairie florals in vintage lines, rough shearlings, laces and lamés, everything dangling leather tassels and charms — but the ingredients are similar. So, this season, was the sense of dystopia.

Though instead of wading through snack food, Mr. Vevers’ models had to wend their way through a forest of denuded trees, like something out of the Brothers Grimm or “The Blair Witch Project.” Maybe that’s why the bags and knapsacks they all carried were cavernous enough to fit a large part of their worldly goods inside.

Michael Kors, fall 2018. Credit Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times

(For what it’s worth, big bags are a trend this season. They were everywhere, including at Monse, which had a top-handled carnie-striped version that also can be folded and squished under the arm. So are amped-up white shirts: See Vaquera’s dress versions, sporting portraits of its fashion forbearers, including Vivienne Westwood and Miguel Adrover, over the left breast. And wide-wale corduroy — Maria Cornejo did an especially appealing cherry red jumpsuit in her Zero Maria Cornejo line.)

But back to Coach.

“I was thinking, ‘What is our goal?’ ” Mr. Vevers said backstage before the show. Then of the people who populate his imagination: “What are they doing here? Where are they going?”

He didn’t have an answer — his Elvises just left the building — but he did have a convincing proposition for a look. We all have to start somewhere.

These Are the Biggest Spring Fashion Trends, According to Pinterest

Whether you’re having a spring wedding, or attending a spring wedding as a guest, no doubt you’re looking to revamp your wardrobe—it’s called spring cleaning for a reason amirite? Before you set out to buy the perfect rehearsal dinner dress, or wedding guest dress for a spring wedding, you might want to check out the top spring fashion trends . Enter, our dear friends at Pinterest. Let’s face it, we all spend countless hours (sorry work!) on Pinterest scouring the interwebs for fashion inspo when a new season hits. Pinterest analyzed its over 16 billion women’s fashion pins to bring us the top trends for the new season. Want to know what to wear to a spring wedding? Well, according to Pinterest, these are the top spring fashion trends you’ll see on all the fashion girls.

Lavender

No doubt lavender is THE color for spring 2018. Lavender-related fashion pins were up 98% from last year, so expect to see this color all over wedding receptions. Brides-to-be, it’s a perfect, perfect, perfect color for your rehearsal dinner look, or even your bridesmaids. Ash Rose (aka blush, aka millennial pink) also continues its rise as one of the more popular fashion colors, as do light yellow and green. So think pastels brides! (Above, Chi Chi London High Neck Lace Midi Dress with V back, $61, Asos)

Satin

Our inner ’90s girl hearts are all aflutter with the bold return of satin as fabric du jour. Saves for satin were up 242% from last year, so break out that satin slip dress for that April wedding you got invited to.

Sheer Fabrics

The naked trend is coming in hard for 2018. It’s been on the rise for wedding dresses, and apparently sheer tops, and even sheer socks are among the most pinned.

Fringe

Forget last season’s pom poms, fringe is EVERYWHERE. Boho brides will love this trend (already seen on wedding dresses at Bridal Fashion Week).

Asymmetrical Skirts

You already know our deep love for high-low wedding dresses, and just like satin tops, our ’90s hearts love an asymmetrical skirt. It’s a very boho, and flowing look perfect for a wedding guest dress, or even a second wedding dress at a beach wedding.

Kitten Heels

The perfect bridal shower shoe is here to save you. Kitten heel pins are up 455% (yes, you read that right), so keep your heels at home and opt for serious comfort during wedding season.

Woven Flats

Woven flat mules will be the IT shoe of the season, and they’re ideal for dancing the night away as a wedding guest during the warmer months.

Slingbacks

Slingbacks are a very ladylike option that make your heels (or even kitten heels) ultra feminine. Expect to see loads of these around weddings this season.

White shoes

White shoes were the IT shoe of Fall/Winter and lucky for us, this bridal-ready trend is sticking around for Spring. We don’t have to tell you why this is perfect for your wedding day.

Headbands

Bust out your finest Blair Waldorf-inspired headband Upper East Siders.

Mini Bucket Bags

Don’t forget the clutch altogether, but a miniature version of our favorite handbag trend—the bucket bag—is a great alternative as a wedding day bag.

Geometric Earrings

Geometric earrings have been gaining popularity as one type of statement earring. The chic choice was a must for wedding guests and brides alike and continues to be at the top of our fashion statement list.