Whether it is in Indochine or in L’Amant, “Vien Dong” has been in the heart of France as a love. That loves inspired Patrick Pham. On his trip to the rural weaving villages, the young designer suddenly reminisce the distant memories. The luggage he brought back is filled masterpieces from the ivory-like hands of artisans from a country that is deeply in love with France. The old French sentiment for the Far East rises up again with another love story. Paris is just like to meet its old friend!
During the Paris Fashion Week 2019, Patrick Pham presents 29 Couture dresses from handmade textile materials of Vietnam's most famous weaving villages, along with handmade accessories made by artisans from Hue – the Imperial city of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam.
“Lanh My A” is a silk weaving product dyed from Diospyros Mollis fruit, locally known as “mặc nưa”. “Lanh My A” has been used for costume of the royal families of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, or as a luxury gift for only rich families, landlords, and Indo-Chinese wealthy class. In the hands of Patrick Pham, Lanh My A seems to have been a classy material for luxury suit and soiree dress. The beauty of Lanh My A is dominated right from the care of silkworm cocoon so that each silkworm can pull out the best and healthiest silk threads. Especially, the woven silk is under a very unique dyeing technique. The dyeing process takes nearly 5 months to complete. Fabric must go through 2 dyeing cycles and sun drying in the wind. This is the secret know-how of the black, leather-like Lanh My A silk. Sadly, it is in danger of being lost. Nowadays, many local people turn to weave other normal fabrics since industrial textiles with high capacity can generate better income. The whole country now has only one artisan family whose have been trying to rebuild and implement this natural secret.
Once upon a time in the history of Vietnam, there had been a beautiful weaver who was chosen to marry to the Prince and become the Queen. People called her Queen Y Lan. Queen Y Lan is one of the most famous and beloved queens with a caring heart for her people. She was honored as the founding ancestor of silk weaving for teaching her people to plant mulberry, raise silkworm, and weave silk. As the tradition goes, every Vietnamese girl grows up knowing how to weave cloth, embroider, and sew. Fabrics seem to inherit their personalities and destiny from those ivory-like hands. The fabric and silk is indeed a cultural reflection of a multi-ethnic nation.
Brocade is a unique product that ethnic minorities in Vietnam pass down from generation to generation in such a way to reflect the characteristics of their culture. Brocade is a fabric made of cotton, linen or hemp yarn, all handwork. Fabrics are dyed from wild plants with variety of colors: gloomy sometimes, brilliant sometimes. There are patterns on the fabric that uniquely represent each ethnic group. These patterns are embossed during the weaving process, though those appear to be embroidered at first.
Brocade carries in itself the vibe of local live: rustic, but generous and wild. Encountering those characteristics of brocade, Patrick Pham did a bold thing: erasing the cultural boundaries of wild, liberal brocade. Brocade is mixed with other materials such as horse skin and cattle fur. In the hand of Patrick, Brocade has raised the wild rhythm of a “Tziganes” girl and the sexy look of a “Bohémien” girl. Brocade gets itself out of being a local material to romantically reunite in Paris.
Patrick Pham creates a wedding dress with new materials : silk from hyacinth flowers. Hyacinth flowers on wedding dress gentle but elegant. Accessories from jackfruit wood, which is a cheap material for statue making and construction, suddenly became luxury material for fashionable and colorful handicraft boots.
Naming the collection “Pearl of Far East” for Couture dresses from handmade and environmentally friendly materials, Patrick Pham probably just started his new journey: the journey to promote Paris fashion lifestyle, but this time, it is somewhere outside of France!