GUEST-POST BY FERNANDA PRATS, ORIGINALLY POSTED IN JULIANA E A MODA
After staying for a month in Hanoi, Vietnam, I realized how healthy is the Vietnamese attitude on personal style – they wear what they want and value what is flattering for their bodies, regardless about what others would judge.
Influences, trends, singularities? There are some, of course. Take a look…
The older generation, reminiscent of Ho Chi Minh (communist leader) Era, usually doesn’t care about fashion. Some women even go out on the street and run errands wearing PAJAMAS. In the other hand, the traditional Vietcong pointed hat is restricted to vendors and tourists.
The “style update” goes on opposite direction: girls riding their scooters in ladylike looks … complemented with HIGH HEELS.
They claim it’s a desire to look taller, but they actually enjoy enhancing their mignon biotype with femininity (and beloved shades of pink).
A curious detail: instead of walking around for window shopping, they slow the speed in front of the shops and just get of their scooters to see what really interests them, Always up in their high heels!
Do you know that face mask that Asians often use? Even that has a special fit and adapts to each personal style. With several options of colors and patterns available, it’s a matter of choosing what goes better with each outfit. Moreover, Vietnamese version appearance is more delicate because the nose is adjustable.
Men also prefer wearing everything fitted, inspired by Italian tailored clothes, and pointy shoes. As the country have plenty of tailor shops, it’s easy for them to get those tidy looks.
But, yet, Western brands are objects of desire – the target of counterfeiting. Other international influences come from Korean and Japanese fashion.
Padded jackets, dudune style, are generally preferred. They are part of the scooter-kit and it seems that each inhabitant has one for wintertime.
A certain military inspiration remains since the Communist times: slack ensembles for older men, camouflaged jackets and pants for young people and there’s even little uniforms for the boys – on sale at street markets and shops:
“Vietnam has changed a lot in a few years”, explains the designer Lê Duyên Huong, one of the designers that participate on Vietnam Fashion Week. “Before, women spent more time at home and didn’t change to go out run errands in the neighborhood – not concerned to be seen in pajamas or slippers. They started dressing better to enter the labor market. That increased demand for fashion shops, besides the traditional tailors and small garment stores ” She says the greater access to consumer goods (such as air conditioning, heating and car / taxi) is also influencing her creations: “I no longer focus my collections on the seasons, I try to understand and meet the needs of my customers.”
I was introduced to Lê by the staff of the LONDON COLLEGE OF DESIGN AND FASHION, where I recorded THIS VIDEO and I could learn a bit more about the fashion market in Vietnam. She is the head creative director of L’ATELIER, that also represents other designers. The college and the store are in an area off the tourist circuit, Tây Hô, which begins to emerge as a hub for local brands, bars and cool eateries.
Another interesting place to have an authentic experience of fashion and Vietnamese lifestyle is THE YARD.
In PRATSERIE I tell (and show) more about my personal experiences in Vietnam and other destinations of this trip … But soon, I’ll share stories about fashion in Sri Lanka.