Thuỷ Nguyễn is known for her eclectic style, particularly her emphasis on form and construction, ornamentation, exaggeration and flamboyance. ‘Thuỷ Nguyễn – An Everyday Dream’, through its dramatic mise-en-scene, as well as the display of intricate garments, sheds light into this designer’s world of imagination where folklore, colour and ideas of feminity are interwoven.
As clothes are a map of our past and present, Thuỷ’s collections are also, above all, autobiographical. Wherever Thuỷ travels, she pays attention to the fragments of the past such as vintage fabric, old postcards, intricate hand-made accessories and decorative arts; collecting them and using them as sources of reference. Additionally, Thuỷ continously pulls from her personal memories, creating a coherent, multi-layered story for each of her collections, pulling from various forms of vernacular knowledge, such as folk poems, music, performing arts, fine art and spiritual rituals. Such cultural currents are then transformed into details such as her sap-green hand-woven buttons attached to the shoulder, waist, or trousers’ waist; her meticulously embroided patterns; and her reconstructions of the áo dài – her eternal inspiration. This conversation with fashion editor, Nam Thi, will open up Thuỷ’s creative methodology, in which she extracts, references and recreates symbols and motifs that are present in everyday (social and spiritual) life into her own unique ensemble.
This talk is a part of the public program in association with the exhibition ‘Thuỷ Nguyễn – An everyday dream’, co-produced by The Factory, supported by TOONG (promotion) and Hoa Sen University – Faculty of Design and Art (venue).