French designer brings expertise to VN fashion
September 17, 2008
|17:32′ 15/09/2008 (GMT+7)|
VietNamNetBridge – Pascale Valery Tung Lam, a fashion designer for Thai Tuan Garment and Textile Company, designed the 2008 Miss Vietnam Collection for the 30 ladies who competed for the title of the country’s most beautiful woman in Hoi An.
You are the result of a romantic relationship between a beautiful French woman and a Vietnamese man. Please tell us more about yourself.
I am the result of a romantic love between a French lady from Champagne and a Vietnamese man from Ha Noi. They both had the same passion and played the violin. My father was a doctor and my mother a violin professor. She taught the violin to young students. I am the eldest of four children. I was born in Paris and lived in Ho Chi Minh City for the first 10 years. I learnt Vietnamese from my paternal grandmother. After 10 years I returned to France with my family because of the war. In 1996 I returned to Viet Nam for the first time.
Why did you decide to become a fashion designer? What were you doing before working with Thai Tuan?
I became a fashion designer like my French grandmother, who had a fashion house. She passed on to me her passion for this trade, especially for silk, and [taught me] how to match colours. After my studies – fine arts, marketing in England and the US and courses at Stanford University [in the US], I opened a fashion house in France and was lucky to meet my fashion godmother, Carven, who is a famous designer in Paris. I learned the sensorial approach and studied the aromas of wine with my husband Jean Jacques, who is a wine taster and export manager for a famous wine and spirit distributor. I also studied with Jacques Puisais, an eminent enologist. I designed dresses according to the aromas of wines and held very successful shows in France and other European countries, including in Paris, the capital of fashion. I developed my design and my business thanks to Ratti Spa, a big Italian factory that makes silk. I also design for other brands like Pierre D’Alby, Christine Laure, and Sarah B. I studied the history of the Vietnamese dress, the ao dai, and met Lien Huong, a famous fashion designer of ao dai. I invited her to France and suggested to UNESCO that the ao dai be classified as intangible heritage. During my stay in Viet Nam, I worked as a fashion consultant to producers like IGTC, Vita Jean, Sai Gon 2, and Sanding. Now I work for Thai Tuan Company.
Do you think your mixed Vietnamese-French heritage gave you an edge when designing the Miss Viet Nam Collection?
I think that I am very lucky to talk Vietnamese, French, and English fluently. I see it as advantage to speak many languages in this kind of job. Now, for the Miss Viet Nam Collection, I think it is easier if I speak Vietnamese.
Please tell us about your Miss Viet Nam collection? Why were you chosen as the designer for this event?
I worked and designed dresses for Miss Viet Nam because Thai Tuan Company asked me to do it. Thai Tuan is an important partner and sponsor of Miss Viet Nam. I designed the fashion collection based on a theme inspired by nature in a glittering, new material called voile that Thai Tuan Company produces. Finally, Tien Phong, the Miss Viet Nam organiser, chose the dress “light” as the most representative of the event. It is both elegant and sexy at the same time.
What do you think about the fashion industry in Viet Nam?
I think the fashion industry is better than 10 years ago. Viet Nam now has many very good designers, especially of the ao dai, but we may progress more with a contemporary Vietnamese style (casual and city wear). We must also make a big effort to improve the quality of textile products we can introduce to, and capture, foreign markets, especially Europe and the US.