17:32′ 15/09/2008 (GMT+7)


Bridge – 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.

(Source: VNS)

Pioneer modelling agency dreams of global exposure
23:18′ 27/06/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – One of Vietnam’s first modelling agencies, PL (Professional Look) is teaming up with HCM City’s Stage and Cinema College to train Vietnamese beauties how to be professional models.

This beauty means business: Supermodel Xuan Lan, who raged across the catwalk in the early 2000s. She recently became the director of her own modelling agency.

PL also signed a contract with model training companies in Japan, South Korea and Singapore to hold exchanges with the Vietnamese company, PL director and former model Tran Thanh Long says.

“Our company will also establish representative offices in these countries to hold shows and introduce Vietnamese models.”

Long and his friend Ta Nguyen Phuc, known as the founders of the Vietnamese modelling industry, first set up PL Company in 2003. Since then, dozens of companies have followed the trend, including model Vu Khac Tiep’s Venus Fashion and actor Nguyen Anh Tuan’s A Dong (Eastern Asia). Most companies enrol students aged 14 to 23.

Some of PL Company’s stars include super model Phung Ngoc Yen, Vo Hoang Yen, Miss Friendly winner Chung Thuc Quyen and Miss Fashion winner Truong Chi Truc Diem.

Inner beauty

During PL’s training course, students will study different subjects like make-up, performing on the catwalk and how to act in front of the camera, says Long.

But beauty is one thing, behaviour is another, the former model admits. “It’s easy to find beautiful girls in bars and clubs but finding someone who loves the work and is virtuous, is another matter.”

Lessons on good behaviour should also be included on the courses, says director Xuan Lan of Xuan Lan Model Company. “I employ models carefully and selectively, they should be good girls and act responsibly.”

Other companies, like Venus Fashion Company on Nguyen Trai Street, HCM City, also focus on boosting the girls’ skills and charm, with classes on how to act on stage and others on foreign languages.

This isn’t just to look good in the skills round in the Miss Universe competition, as more modelling agencies look to promote their models on the international stage.

A Dong Company has teamed up with a modelling agency in the US to promote exchanges, says company director Tuan. “A Dong will invite some foreign experts in the industry to give lectures in Vietnam in 2009,” he says.

But few agencies can rival the success of PL. Last year the agency received an invitation from Fashion Television to send 20 models to a fashion show on the its Mega-F Diamond Cruise Ship at Nha Rong Wharf, HCM City last year, according to Thanh Long. FTV Jury also chose four models for Miss FTV 2007 in Thailand. PL is now an official representative of FTV in Viet Nam.

(Source: Viet Nam News)

Fashion fair in Hanoi for promoting domestic enterprises
Wednesday, April 02, 2008 (Vietnam)

Vietnam spring-summer 2008, fashion fair, kicked off yesterday in Hanoi and will continue to attract lot of visitors till April 6. More than 100 enterprises are participating in this event to showcase their creations.

The products displayed for the onlookers include a wide range of cosmetics, fashionable garments, along with various home décor items. Latest footwear designs are also exhibited here for Hanoi people.

According to official of the organization board, such events offer opportunities to domestic enterprises for promotion and marketing for their products. It also provides them a chance to understand the market trends to cater to the need of consumers.

Key consultant services are protecting intellectual property rights at the expo as well as are engaged in building brand and trade marks in international integration.

Fibre2fashion News Desk – Vietnam

Thursday started my first full day of shows here in New York and I was really looking forward to seeing the collection of newcomer Thuy Diep, a young designer who grew up in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley.
The California-reared Vietnamese-American, who’s worked for such powerhouses like Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen and Bay Area native Peter Som, showed 17 looks in an airy, loft space this afternoon. Her second collection since she started her label, Thuy.
Her design aesthetic fit the space – uncluttered, modern, bright.
“I like to use great fabrics and do one-off details that are subtle, but catches the eye,” she said in a quick interview during the presentation. “Each piece has something special.”
That would include a simple shift, done in silver glittery fabric, with three horizontal tiers draped so that part of the lines appear as if they are melting.
(It’s the first dress in the group shot.)
Diep, who was born in Phan Thiet, which she describes as a resort town located between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Her parents were tailors who ran a tailoring school and custom clothing business before immigrating to the U.S.

Diep was educated at Brown University and worked for Pricewaterhouse as a consultant before going to Parsons School of Design (yes, the one featured in Project Runway) and taking on draping and pattern making jobs for Herrera, Posen and Som.
Last season, she struck out on her own and impressed a number of luxury retailers, including Bergdorf Goodman. She giddily says she’s booking “quite a few” appointments with buyers interested in this spring line. Especially in the spotlight: the slim tuxedo jackets.
Her coats  – a silver gray linen blend one and a floral brocade, kimono sleeve one – struck me as pretty special. They will retail for about $1,000.
Also special, a blue satin high waisted pencil skirt with seams and a diagonal cut that hugged curves in the right places, eliminating the sort of ride-up inherent in the shape of a pencil skirt. Genius.
Diep is definitely one I’ll watch. She’s talented yes, and that’s reason enough.
But her heritage alone should spark the interest of many in Silicon Valley’s Southeast Asian community.

Talk Around Town

December 6, 2007




Talk Around Town


Dress up or as: youth shock in two styles

by Tran Thu Van

The miniskirt and its use by young girls to rebel against traditional fashion never swept Viet Nam in the swinging sixties, but today youngsters in HCM City and Ha Noi are increasingly using their wardrobes to express their individuality and shock their parents.

While the miniskirt does play its role in the latest fashion trends sweeping Viet Nam, young local trendsetters are looking for inspiration from Tokyo not London.

Tran Thi Thanh Thuy, a 12th-grade student at Kim Lien High School in Ha Noi, says she can’t imagine a life where she wasn’t free to express herself through her clothes, however bizarre they may be to her parents.

Thuy started following Japanese street fashion a few years ago, finding inspiration in the harajuku style, which is named after a trendy shopping area in Tokyo. Dressed in a motley mix of urban threads that mix aspects of the do-it-yourself punk movement with Japanese streetwear, Ha Noi’s harajuku exponents would certainly turn heads on the streets of the capital.

Despite, or maybe in spite of, older people’s disdain for the style, harajuku followers have found joy in the individuality and creative freedom of the trend, swapping their ao dai for a short, pleated schoolgirl’s skirt and a pair of saucy stockings, augmented by a carefully put together grab bag of accessories.

“Having one’s own style makes harajuku interesting,” says Nguyen Lan Anh, a 10th-grade student at Gia Dinh High School in HCM City.

“Everyone wants to make themselves distinctive from others.”

Everyone except the old folks.

“While we young people love to dress like this, our parents definitely feel shocked at seeing us in such weird clothes,” says Minh Vu, a student at Van Hien Private University in HCM City.

Move over, Sailor Moon

But as parents continue to cast disapproving eyes on harajuku, another trend from Japan is taking hold among Vietnamese youth. Cosplay, a combination of the two words costume and play, involves people dressing up as their favourite characters from Japanese manga comics or video games.

This fad, which arrived in Viet Nam in 2005, allows for much more elaborate costumes. Paying attention to minute details, cosplay enthusiasts try to look just like their idols and even try to pick up some of their mannerisms.

Many girls dress like the dashing, pretty nubiles that fill the pages of manga books, while their boyfriends take on the guise of action heroes and video game warriors.

While the harajuku style can be easily translated into casual streetwear, cosplay is reserved for special occasions, such as cosplay festivals or competitions. With recent cosplay festival in both Ha Noi and HCM City, the movement is gathering force.

A competition organised by Kim Dong Publishing House was a playground for hundreds of manga lovers recently, while the Night of 7 Festival in HCM City and the Active Expo 2007 Festival held in Ha Noi last September also attracted the participation of many cosplayers.

It is easy to understand why cosplay has such a strong attraction for teenagers, who want to be like their idols.

“What can be more wonderful than becoming a character you love for one day?” says Thuy. “And what can be better than people saying that it looks like you’ve just stepped off the screen?”

The fad has become so popular that more and more businesses selling special cosplay costumes are opening up.

Depending on the cosplayer’s creativity and the character they want to become, a costume may cost as little as VND300,000(US$18) or as much as several million dong. The average price for an outfit is about VND1 million ($62.50). This is no small amount for Vietnamese teenagers who are still studying, so cosplay for many is still a luxury pursuit.

While some are lucky enough to be able to splurge on costumes, other manga fans on a shoestring budget have to get a bit more creative.

Nguyen Dieu Linh, who studies at the Ha Noi College of Arts, buys cloth for her costumes and takes it to a tailor with the cosplay design of her choice.

Cosplay can be a harmless type of entertainment. Dressing up is a part of Vietnamese culture, and it’s up to each individual cosplayer to choose which character he or she becomes, as long as they don’t dress up as Godzilla on the day of their grandmother’s birthday party. —VNS

Four Vietnamese models selected for Miss FTV 2007
17:18′ 07/11/2007 (GMT+7)

Model Ngoc Quyen

VietNamNet Bridge – Fashion TV (FTV) will choose four Vietnamese models for its Miss FTV 2007 in Thailand.


Director of P.L Model Agent Company, Thanh Long, said that he received FTV’s invitation to send 20 models to a fashion show on Mega-F Diamond Cruise Ship of FTV on November 9 at Nha Rong Wharf, HCM City. There, FTV Jury will choose four models for its Miss FTV 2007 in Thailand on November 13.


P.L Model Agent Company has nominated four women, Thanh Hoai, Khanh Ngoc, Ngoc Quyen and Hoang Diep. The personal records of these models have been submitted to the Art Performance Agency for consideration for licencing.


Of the four models, Khanh Ngoc is the tallest, 1.81m. She won the Gold Prize at the Vietnam Supermodel 2007 contest and represented Vietnam at Miss Universe 2004 in Ecuador.


Ngoc Quyen entered the finals of the Vietnam Model 2006 contest. This 18-year-old model is also an actress.


Model Thanh Hoai was the first runner-up of the Miss Vietnam in photo and attended Miss Earth 2005 in the Philippines.


Hoang Diep, 22, is an exclusive model of P.L.


Miss FTV 2007 is a weekly contest. Each week around 20-30 models are invited to compete on the Mega-F Diamond boat. The three top models will enter the year-end Grand Finale round.


If their records are approved, the four Vietnamese models will go to Phuket, Thailand for Miss FTV 2007 on November 13.


In the fashion show at Nha Rong Wharf on November 9, Vietnamese models will model Thuan Viet ao dai and a collection of Van Thanh Cong.



16:35′ 24/04/2007 (GMT+7)


VietNamNet Bridge – Years ago, while the textile-garment industry of Vietnam was processing for foreign clients, Ninomaxx was designing, producing on industrial scale and building its own distribution network.


Currently, Ninomaxx not only holds a large market share in Vietnam but is also the only representative of Vietnamese fashion in the US.


According to the Vietnam Textile-Garment Association, of the nearly US$6 billion of textile-garment export turnover reported in 2006, the real value that the country earned accounted for only 20-30%. The remaining went to foreign partners, coming from imported materials, which were re-exported after that.


So far, Vietnam has not built a fashion industry. Ninomaxx is one of only several local companies that produce fashion garments on industrial scale.


“When our first shop with Maxx brand opened in 1998, we had already defined our strategy: turning Ninomaxx into a regional and world trademark,” said Nguyen Huu Phung, Ninomaxx’s Chairman.


Mr Phung said that 16 years ago when he went abroad, he tried to learn about the development of international fashion brands to apply in Vietnam. His Ninomaxx has become a leading fashion trademark in Vietnam.


Starting with the first shop in 1998 in HCM City, Ninomaxx has spread to many provinces in the south, the central region and the north. It currently has nearly 50 shops and 30 agents nationwide. Ninomaxx’s turnover has reached hundreds of billions of dong and it has been selected as the strongest brand in Vietnam by the Vietnam Textile-garment Association.


Ninomaxx was also the pioneer in taking Vietnamese fashion products abroad. Firstly, it opened shops in the neighbouring country of Cambodia, and then it developed a distribution network in Australia. After several years of preparation, Ninomaxx opened shops in the US.


According to Mr Phung, going to the US is a strategic and ambitious step of Ninomaxx. In the near future, Ninomaxx will expand to some European countries and its distribution network in Southeast Asia will be further expanded. In Vietnam, Ninomaxx will open shops in all 64 provinces and cities, with 120-150 shops.


Along with developing its distribution network, both at home and abroad, Ninomaxx will join hands with a US partner to produce high-class products. To have capital for those plans, the company will perform equitisation and list its shares on the stock market at this year’s end, said Mr Phung.

Custom-made in Saigon

May 9, 2007

By Naomi Lindt
Budget Travel
(Budget Travel Onlineexternal link) — At Ben Thanh market in Saigon (even locals don’t call it Ho Chi Minh City), saleswomen perch atop piles of fabrics that they sell inexpensively by the meter. Customers are encouraged to take their purchases to nearby tailors, who charge as little as $6 for a pair of pants. As with everything in life, you get what you pay for: hems fall and zippers break. If you want to have clothing custom made in Saigon, these six shops are a better bet.

Tricia & Verona

Opened a year ago by sisters Tuyen Tran and Vy Tran (who anglicized their names to Tricia and Verona to convey their Western sense of style), the store’s crisp white walls, low lacquer tables and contemporary light fixtures make it feel more like a boutique than a workshop. Specialties include wool coats (from $80), slacks (from $30), and muslin tops (from $17). There’s also a selection of off-the-rack items that can be copied, fitted or adapted. The average turnaround time is two days, including fittings. 39 Dong Du St., D1, 011-84/8-824-4556.

Si Hoang

With its tight bodice, side slits and flowing pants, it’s no wonder the flattering ao dai (pronounced “ow yai”) is traditional dress for Vietnamese women. Saigon is crowded with shops that sell cheap versions to tourists, but locals go to Si Hoang, where the costume is taken so seriously that historical samples are displayed in glass cases. A plain silk ao dai costs $65 and is made in a day; ones fashioned with heavier fabric (hand-painted silk, beaded velvet) start at $150 and need a week or more. A free fashion show and tea salon — with music and singing — takes place every night but Tuesday at 8 p.m. 36-38 Ly Tu Trong St., D1, 011-84/8-822-3100.

Minh Khoa

Fashion designer Minh Khoa, who’s married to one of the country’s top models, looks to his dreams for inspiration. “I fantasize about a modern, strong woman and then I create a spectrum of looks to dress her up,” he says. His formal wear — which ranges from sequined ao dai to silk wedding gowns — has been spotted at fancy parties across Asia. The racks hold one of each of his current designs, but he’ll also work with customers to create something unique. A silk shift runs $110 and requires two days; elaborate dresses start at $700 and take several weeks. 39 Dong Khoi St., D1, 011-84/8-823-2302.

Tailor Nhut

Ignore the bare walls, tile floors, and open shelves crammed full of books and material: When it comes to getting quality men’s apparel made in Saigon, there’s nowhere better than Nhut. The suits, shirts, tuxedos and overcoats are made with the finest cashmere-wool blends and Italian cottons. Suits cost $140 or more (depending on the fabric and finishing details) and require one week; shirts start at $40. 108 Ly Tu Trong St., D1, 011-84/8-824-9437.

Kenly Silk

Silk shops abound in Vietnam, churning out purses and pajamas for the masses. But Kenly Silk matches great service and workmanship with a dizzying array of styles. The narrow store’s first floor displays ready-to-wear items as well as accessories like silk scarves, slippers and ties. Upstairs are the floor-to-ceiling bolts of fabric — taffetas, chiffons, muslins, raw silks and linens — necessary to create a custom look. Kenly is particularly popular for hand-embroidered blouses ($29, five days), mandarin-collar tops ($27, one day), and lacy sleepwear ($59 for a kimono and negligee, 7 to 10 days). 132 Le Thanh Ton St., D1, 011-84/8-829-3847.

Minh Hanh

Minh Hanh’s embroidery has garnered international recognition. She’s now fostering a new generation of talent as head of Saigon’s Fashion Design Institute. Her dresses and ao dai, dotted with delicate lotus flowers or lilacs, start at $100; velvet jackets edged with the geometric patterns of Vietnam’s ethnic tribes cost upward of $125. Most items take a week to complete. 114B Nguyen Hue St., D1, 011-84/8-823-5367.

Getting It Done Right

Go in prepared: Clip pictures from magazines of styles you like, or bring along something that fits just right. Virtually anything can be copied.

Do a test run: If you have the time, get one item made to check workmanship before putting in an entire order.

Know the facts: Talk money, time and store policies in advance. Many tailors won’t charge if you’re unsatisfied with the finished product, and most offer shipping if you run out of time or suitcase space.

Be realistic: Between finding a design, picking fabrics and attending fittings, getting clothes custom-made is time-consuming. Order selectively.

Speak up: The Vietnamese are tough customers. If you’re not happy, say so. Be persistent and firm, but don’t get visibly angry — it won’t get you anywhere.

Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

© 2006. Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.


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Style Makers

Best of 2006: Style Makers

By Ana La O

APA looks back on some of the biggest Asian faces and fads to hit the fashion world this year.

In no particular order:

1. Du Juan: With looks that range from sweetly innocent to fiercely sultry, it’s no surprise that Du Juan was declared one of the top ten new models of fall 2006 by Style.com. The former Miss China (2003) got her big break when she became the first Asian model to grace the cover of French Vogue in 2005. Since then, she has appeared on the Olympus Fashion Week runway, modeling collections from Anna Sui, Versace, and Carolina Herrera. Juan’s entry into the mainstream fashion world is extremely rare since she is the only model of Chinese descent among other Asian models like Anna Bayle (Filipina) Kimora Lee (African-American, Korean, and Japanese), and Irina Pantaeva (Siberian), who paved the way before her.

2. Geisha Glamour: Whether you loved or hated Memoirs of a Geisha, you can’t deny that the costumes were fabulous. They were so fabulous in fact, that Western courtiers and retailers couldn’t seem to get enough of obi belts, kimono sleeves, and large Japanese floral prints in 2006. In addition to Banana Republic and Fresh cosmetics releasing their own Memoirs lines at the tail end of 2005, modern Geisha-inspired wear popped up on the Spring 2006 runways of Hermes, Dries Van Noten, and Lanvin.

3. Doo-Ri Chung: Korean designer Doo-Ri Chung became high fashion’s newest it-designer when she won the top prize at the third annual CFDA/Vogue fashion award in November and the Swarovski Perris Ellis award for Emerging Talent in June. Chung started her clothing collection in her parents’ New Jersey dry cleaning shop after graduating from Parson’s. She debuted her line Doo.Ri at New York Fashion Week in 2003. This year, Chung impressed audiences with her spring 2007 collection, which delved beyond her usual jersey knit draping and added sophisticated satins and sequined detailing to the mix.

4. Bollywood Basics: India showed transcontinental appeal this year. Olympus Fashion Week welcomed India-inspired collections from Indian-born designers like Anand Jon (Jeanisis), Ashish Soni (Ashish N Soni), and newcomer Sabyasachi, who debuted his modernized take on traditionally garish Bollywood style in September 2006. In fact, Indian style is so hot right now that spring 2007 collections from Lanvin, Carolina Herrera, and Michael Kors are also offering Eastern-influenced pieces like silk kameezes (Indian tunics) and opulent brocade skirts.

5. Shu Uemura: Japanese makeup brand Shu Uemura loves to push artistic boundaries and last year was no different. Known for their lash products — particularly their eyelash curler (a fashion industry favorite) and their outrageous fake lashes — Shu Uemura stunned us in 2006 with perhaps their most indulgent lashes yet: a custom pair of mink lashes adorned with diamonds, created for quintessential material girl Madonna. For those who can’t shell out ten grand for mink lashes, 2006 also marked the opening of two new Shu Uemura Tokyo Lash bars in Boston and Costa Mesa, where clients try everything from natural lashes to funky neon colored lashes fit for a Harajuku girl.

6. Chloe Dao: This past spring, Vietnamese designer Chloe Dao became the first Asian woman and the least dramatic contestant to win Bravo’s Project Runway (fans can attest to the catty attitudes of season one winner Jay McCarroll and season three winner Jeffrey Sebelia). Dao played it nice off and on the runway during the show, often creating minimalist and classically tailored clothing. Since winning Project Runway’s $100,000 prize, Dao has been expanding her contemporary women’s line Lot 8, which she established in 2000.

7. Don and Jin Sook Chang, Forever 21: Before Sweden’s H&M invaded the U.S., American girls and recently guys, looking for a quick fashion fix, turned to Los Angeles’s original fast fashion couturier, Forever 21. Established in 1984 by Korean immigrants Don and Jin Sook Chang, Forever 21 releases up to 200 trendy new designs into its stores on any given week and in spite of its European competition, seems to be doing stronger than ever: Forever 21 expanded into menswear in 2006 and is the top-earning privately owned fashion company in L.A., according to Los Angeles Magazine.

8. Thakoon Panichgul: Thakoon Panichgul hit it big with the stylish elite and masses alike in 2006. The Thai-born designer was a runner-up for the CFDA/ Vogue fashion award, thanks to a show-stopping spring 2007 collection inspired by peonies at New York Fashion Week. Far from the Olympus Runway, Panichgul also reached a more mainstream audience with a capsule collection of affordable shoes for Nine West’s 2006 Project Front Row. He joined designers Sophia Kokosalaki and Vivienne Westwood.

9. The Asian Mullet: It’s not exactly a “style maker,” but the mullet has been so widespread among Asian youth that Asia Times actually published a satirical article about it three years ago. And today, I still see the mullet being rocked by hordes of Asians, boys and girls, in trendy neighborhoods and Indie and Emo concerts everywhere. Perhaps, an even greater testament to the mullet’s unwavering grasp on Asian heartstrings is Josie, the only Asian contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef, who made a statement with her Vietnamese inspired dishes as well as her badass faux-hawk mullet. Call it kitschy, but the mullet proved it still had its cool in 2006.

10. Rinko Kikuchi: It’s not often that we see Asians working the red carpets and if we do, it’s usually Zhang Ziyi in a classic gown from Armani. This year, however, breakthrough Babel actress Rinko Kikuchi decided to shake things up. At the Cannes Film Festival, Kikuchi clashed modern punk with Japanese tradition, wearing a lilac kimono and her hair pulled into frizzy, orange-tinted bouffant. Kikuchi took her punk-aesthetic even further at the Los Angeles Premiere of Babel, where she rocked the same lightened hair and a funky black and white dress over skinny jeans. Now that Kikuchi’s been named one of Variety’s Ten Actors to watch, it’s likely that we’ll see more of Kikuchi’s funky fashion in 2007.

Back to APA’s “Best of 2006” issue

10:53′ 16/10/2006 (GMT+7)

Soạn: HA 925867 gi đến 996 để nhn ảnh này
Designer Thierry Vincienne.

VietNamNet Bridge – Thierry Vincienne decided to head for Asia while having a large number of customers in France and other European countries. He has finally settled down in Vietnam for the last 12 years.


The French designer called Vietnam his second homeland which in his words “is far away from where he was born but not very unfamiliar.” After 12 years of living in Vietnam, his feelings are still as same as what he found when he first arrived even though the Vietnamese language is still something of a struggle for him.


Since 2002, Thierry has been working as the main designer for the famous fashion brand name NEM – NEW. He was in charge of designing for movie stars, MCs of the weather forecast programme on VTV, the state owned television station as well as in many other TV shows.


After 12 years of living in Vietnam Thierry has a long story about his life here, which he shared with the press.


France has been a well known country in the fashion industry, so why did you decided to choose Vietnam as a place to settle down? Why did you to move to HCM City after more than 10 years of living and working in Hanoi?


Indeed the French fashion industry has a good reputation in the world, and I can not deny that I have been influenced by the renowned French designer Karl Lagerfeld (who designs for Coco Channel). However I chose Vietnam as a place to settle down as here I found the peace for my life. Also the people and the country have inspired me to create many fashion collections.


I am very proud of the fact that I have heard of, and “fallen in love with Vietnam” since I was in school nearly half a century ago. More importantly I want to bring to Vietnam, the country which I adore, the knowledge that I have learned about fashion.


I first graduated with a degree in medical study. After that I worked in the marine force. Leaving the army I decided to pursue fashion designing study. I had been working in the industry for quite a long time before coming here. I moved to Ho Chi Minh City as NEM NEW just started another branch in the city two years ago. My life in this city is not much different from what I did while in Hanoi. With a pencil and some papers, everyday I go to very popular places like small teashops at some corners to find the ideas and then to draw.


Are those places where you find the ideas for your collections?


The ideas are not simply about designs but also about the colours, materials and other things that go with the designs like shoes, belts, etc. I have found that, many people here don’t correctly understand the job of a fashion designer and the job therefore is not yet a popular one. In my opinion a professional designer has to travel, observe and then they will find ideas for their works.


Personally I really like the red colour of the Literature Temple in Hanoi and the yellow colour of Thai pagodas. I do think that, some ideas should always be fleshed out by a professional designer, so that new collections would take shape wherever he or she goes to.


It is said that your designs are usually very simple but so elegant, following that style, do you aim at customers who are upper class?


Many people said that my designs are very European but in fact they are the mixture of European and Asian style. A lot of my designs have been inspired by the beauty of Ao yem (the northern Vietnamese traditional costume for women), Hanbok (Korean traditional dress), or Kimono. The mixture somehow has made up my style.


I am planning to start my own company called Lady France, which will gather the experienced fashion designers, workaholics in the fashion industry who will follow the motto “Customers are Kings”. We hope to provide products which are of European standards but for Asian women in general and Vietnamese women in particular. These products will be sold for reasonable prices, but have high quality. We do think that all women have the rights to make themselves more beautiful.


What do you think about Ao dai (Vietnamese traditional dress)? Do you think that one day your name – A French designer’s name would be attached with Ao dai?


I was strongly impressed by Ao dai since I first saw it. I think the most beautiful Vietnamese traditional dress is the Ao dai, and it will always be like that. Some Vietnamese customers have asked me to design Ao dai for them. However I don’t think that I should break into something so traditional.


Modifying the design of Ao dai should be applied to changing colours and marterials, while the design of the traditional dress should remain. Ao dai itself is already very beautiful. I love the attractions and the elegance of such a dress.


(Source: NLD)