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Vietnam - New Zealand: Connecting cultures through fashion!

August 06, 2015 | 21:36

(VNF) - Twenty outstanding fashion students from Vietnam and New Zealand participating in the first ever Vietnam - New Zealand Fashion Collaboration showcased their entries at a high end fashion show in Ho Chi Minh city on August 6th.

(VNF) - Twenty outstanding fashion students from Vietnam and New Zealand participating in the first ever Vietnam - New Zealand Fashion Collaboration showcased their entries at a high end fashion show in Ho Chi Minh city on August 6th.

40 garments based on the theme of “Fusion” were judged at the show, which featuring some of Vietnam’s leading fashion designers.

The show is one of the New Zealand Embassy’s activities to celebrate 40 years of friendship between New Zealand and Vietnam in 2015.

“2015 is a very significant year for New Zealand and Vietnam as we celebrate 40 years of friendship. People-to-people links, through education and tourism, are the foundation of this relationship. Our aim with this project is to connect bright, young, creative students from New Zealand and Vietnam, and to showcase the creative and innovative side of New Zealand’s world class education institutions to an audience in Vietnam,” said New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr Haike Manning.

Vietnam - New Zealand: Connecting cultures through fashion!
The collaboration formally started in May 2015, when ten teams - comprised of one Vietnamese and one New Zealand student - were selected from 6 top fashion institutions and universities in New Zealand and Vietnam. Since then, the teams have been collaborating “virtually” to prepare their collections, based on the theme of “Fusion” - intended to encourage the students to explore the common traits and cultural values that the two countries enjoy. A critical element to the success of the collaboration is how the students work together long-distance, using technology and IT platforms.

The 10 New Zealand students arrived in Vietnam on August 1st to finalize their garments with their Vietnamese partners, prior to the fashion show and judging.

Reflecting on their garments, Hoang Ngo and New Zealand teammate Bridget Robertson said: “As a team we decided not to base this project around the idea of fusion between Vietnam and New Zealand as two separate countries. We treat this project as a personal story of the coming together of two people whose lives have started off as blank slates and have been influenced by many different things and cultures resulting in who they are today”.

“We have decided to use white as big part of our collection as it represents the new-born child who is free from any influence from the world. It will act as the base color for all of our outfits. This is to show that there is always room to grow and to gain life experiences. The blue we use throughout our collection represents both Vietnam and New Zealand. The blue represents the ocean that surrounds us. Lastly the use of metallic and bold color is to represent our personalities along with the large amount of popular culture that has influenced our lives”.

Phung Bach and Megan Stewart said that their team’s collection combines the traditional Vietnamese Ao dai with selected cultural aspects from New Zealand. They said: “we look into pop culture elements that are humorous and contain iconic imagery. This includes kiwi slang like “sweet as” and iconic kiwi childhood imagery, such as the “Longest drink in town” and “Tip top”. All elements combine together to present a fresh look at how to dress in each country”.

Meanwhile, Khanh Vy and Nicola Luey said: “Our garments are inspired by hand crafted costumes of ethnic people living in the northern mountainous regions of Vietnam. Their costumes are saturated with bright patterns and interesting textures”.

“From New Zealand, we took inspiration from the flax plant, whose leaves are used for the traditional technique of weaving. As well as this, sheep wool has also become inspiration to us for its unique natural qualities. Our collection represents the lifestyles and feeling that we have collected from these two perse lands. The fabrics that we have picked are a combination of natural fibers such as wool, linen and traditional woven patterns inpidually created by skilful artisans in Northern Vietnam“.

Tamsin Cooper, New Zealand fashion designer and member of judging panel said: “Having seen the concepts each team presented, I am blown away by the creativity and hard work that has gone into the designs. So far this has been beyond our expectations. I can’t wait to see the finished products”.

This event is the sixth major activity organised by the New Zealand Embassy in Hanoi in 2015 to date to celebrate 40 years of friendship between the two nations, with a number of activities planned for the remainder of 2015./.

( VNF )