The inaugural Vietnam International Fashion Week (VIFW), organised by FIDé Fashion Weeks and Multimedia JSC, supported by the Asian Couture Federation, kicked off on December 1st with the most extensive fashion line up to have been presented in Vietnam. With a focus on edgy, avant-garde and progressive designers, the first 3 days have been an awe-inspiring moment in Vietnam’s fashion history.
VIFW was opened with a lavish gala dinner for Asia and Vietnam’s industry leaders, fashion aficionados and trendsetters at a the newly opened GEM Center in Ho Chi Hinh. Featuring cultural performances, an exquisite four course meal and speeches from FIDé Fashion Week’s Chairman Dr. Frank Cintamani and Multimedia JSC Founder Ms. Le Thi Quynh Trang, the evening was one not to be missed as guests got a taste of what is to come in the week ahead! Concluding with a toast to the success of the week, the organisers, designers and key supporters gathered on stage to announce the official start of VIFW and to invite everyone to the runway for Asian Couturier Exraordinaire Nguyen Cong Tri’s show.
Nguyen Cong Tri, with his reputation as the pioneer of Vietnam’s couture industry, commenced the inaugural Vietnam International Fashion Week and was the first to grace the VIFW runway. The “Golden Generation Designer” defied conventional design rules in his futuristic “No. 8” collection, which was inspired by his “fashion for the foreseeable future” motif. A fitting start to VIFW, Cong Tri received a thunderous applause from the audience and set the tone for the rest of the week.
Following the festivities of the opening night, Day 2 heralded the first full day of runway shows. Featuring Asian Couture Federation (ACF) Invited Member ISSUE, La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture couture house On Aura Tout Vu along with two of Vietnam’s leading design talents, Hoang Hai and Chung Thanh Phong, it provided a stunning display of creativity and design talent.
Kicking off the evening was one of Vietnam’s most revered designers, Hoang Hai, his feminine and sensual collection truly revealed his expert craftsmanship and exceptional creativity that has earned him permanent feature on the biggest runways in Vietnam. ACF Invited Member Roj Singhakul presentation of “PLAY II” from his label ISSUE demonstrated why he is known as Thailand’s foremost avant grade designer. In the front row to support Roj’s show in Vietnam was none other than ACF Governor Cerrut Thaveechaiwattana from Thailand.
The second segment of the evening saw Chung Thanh Phong’s mesmerising “Cat in the City” collection, which drew upon architectural motifs from Vietnam’s rich heritage to personify the spirit and characteristics of a cat. Closing Day 2 was world-renowned La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture couturiers, Livia Stoianova and Yassen Samouilov of On Aura Tout Vu. The duo’s breathtaking “H20” F/W 2014 collection explored the varying states of water and their unique creations and unparalleled craftsmanship captivated Vietnam’s fashion elite.
As VIFW hit the halfway mark on Day 3, the excitement intensified as ACF Couturier Extraordinaire Frederick Lee and Invited Member Tamae Hirokawa of Somarta presented alongside Vietnamese favourites Adrian Anh Tuan and Le Thanh Hoa.
Adrian Anh Tuan opened the evening with a collection emphasising tasteful wearability for the modern woman, which was followed by the theatrical creations from Singapore’s ‘Godfather of Couture’, Frederick Lee. Frederick’s awe inspiring runway show featured his signature use of exotic feathers and conveyed his unique interpretation of beauty.
As the night progressed, the second Vietnamese designer of the evening Le Thanh Hoa displayed his versatility as a designer, covering the full spectrum from classic silhouettes to avant-garde structures and everything in between. Concluding the day’s shows, Issey Miyake protégée, Tamae Hirokawa of Somarta demonstrated her exceptional knowledge of fabrics and their composition in an ethereal collection inspired by her interpretation of art and utilised innovative Japanese technologies to create the intricate outfits, which she is known for. Such talent was received with a rousing applause from the audience and the Japanese Ambassador in Vietnam. As Day 3 drew to a close the energy in the room was palpable with the audience eagerly awaiting the rest of the week’s festivities.