Vietnamese and international designers for the Aquafina Vietnam International Fashion Week (AVIFW) 2023 celebrated the Vietnamese culture through showcasing designs that utilize Vietnamese textile and reflect their high-quality craftsmanship.
One of the designers who presented is Vũ Việt Hà, a Hà Nội-based designer best known for creating áo dài (Vietnamese traditional dress) using natural Vietnamese materials. He featured his collection titled “Nước Đầu Nguồn” (The Upstream Water) which included designs for áo dài, evening gowns, formal and casual wear for both men and women. They all have hand-embroidered patterns inspired by the thuỷ ba (waves) motifs seen on 19th century Vietnamese costumes.
He chose to make denim fabric from ramie yarn which is an eco-friendly fabric researched and produced by Thiên Phước Ramie Group JSC. Hà used this for the áo dài, dresses, jeans, and jackets he designed.
“I want to introduce cultural heritage to international audiences at the AVIFW, and contribute to preserving and promoting Vietnamese cultural values and traditions,” shared the 34-year old designer.
Hà has previously showcased his áo dài designs in various fashion shows such as the Vietnam Collection Grand Prix, Vietnam International Fashion Week, and Huế Festival.
Another designer that presented in the AVIFW 2023 is Vũ Thu Phương, a former model from the northern province of Nam Định who is now a fashion designer owning the ready-to-wear brand, Phoenix V.
Her collection is entitled “Green Phoenix” and it honors her hometown’s traditional craft of silk weaving through her use of silk from Cổ Chất Silk Village—one of Vietnam’s well-known silk villages for centuries.
Phương featured designs inspired by áo yếm (Vietnamese traditional chemise), cut-out dresses, and menswear-inspired items that aimed to empower women with their fierce silhouettes.
Her passion for highlighting silk weaving in her designs lies deep within her childhood and the current situation of the craft.
“I was born and grew up next to the weaving factory, and saw generations of villagers who worked to preserve the silk weaving craft. Today, traditional looms are gradually disappearing, so I wonder if Vietnamese silk will fade and disappear as well. I believe my fashion thinking needs to be changed to fulfill my duty of preserving my homeland’s traditional crafts. That is mulberry and silkworm farming and silk weaving at Cổ Chất Silk Village,” discloses Phương.
Christopher Chronis, an Australian designer, also graced the AVIFW 2023 runway with his collection inspired by Sài Gòn’s streetstyle during the 1960s and 1990s. He called it “Sultry Saigon Nights”.
His designs utilized shiny and vividly-colored fabrics along with liquid metallic fabrics, sequins, and crystals to represent the disco style they were inspired from. He presented 70 designs for both men and women such as flared pants, blazers, crop tops, mini dresses, and jumpsuits.
Familiar Vietnamese motifs like dragons, phoenix, and lotus flowers were also seen in his designs. According to Chronis, his collection is trying to convey the message that each individual stands out in the crowd, just like the clothes he made with loud and bright materials.
He currently runs the Christopher Chronis Designs, Gas Station, and Christos fashion labels for both men’s and women’s fashions.
The entire AVIFW 2023 featured around 1,000 designs with 17 shows by 18 international and Vietnamese designers and fashion brands, the London College for Design & Fashion in Hà Nội, and the Marangoni Fashion Institute in Milan, Italy.
Which one’s your favorite collection? Let us know in the comments section below!
Featured photo by Multimedia JSC