fashion • 31 May, 2017
Lookbook: ‘Dating Van Gogh’ by Minh Cong Nguyen
New designer shows flower power
For his graduation show, up and coming local designer Minh Cong Nguyen has taken inspiration from a floral tribute to one of the most iconic painters of the modern age, Dutch Master Vincent Van Gogh.
The collection, which centres on extravagant oversized coats with tulip shaped arms and intricate floral embroidery, is the designer’s realisation of the 2015 show at Keukenhof Garden in the Netherlands, which was dedicated to the late painter.
He describes the collection as ‘an experiment in style’ that, like the flowers it celebrates, is multi-layered. While each model in the collection is seen in a voluminous, sturdy coat, inside each is a delicate wisp of colour, hinting at both elegance and vulnerability.
Realising his vision was a painstaking process for Minh Cong. The collection was completed over a period of five months that saw the designer struggle with every aspect of its production; from sourcing materials to the delicate work of embroidering both by hand and using 3D printing.
The designer tells AnyArea about his fashion passions:
How did you first become interested in fashion?
I’ve always been inspired by fashion, ever since I was a little boy. I used to love and sit and watch when my mom and aunts were sewing our clothes. My mom taught me how to sew using bits of ragged cloth that I had found. I used to have a doll collection that I would make clothes for. My love for fashion started there.
Tell us a bit about your graduate collection ‘Dating Van Gogh’.
The first sketches were created back in October but I only started working on the collection in January. This is the first time I have worked with this kind of style and it has been challenging. Creating the silhouette itself took half the time I needed to build the whole collection. But it all came together in the end and ‘Dating Van Gogh’ came to life.
What do you like best about being a designer?
I can’t speak for others but for me, seeing your sketches realised in fabric and being worn by somebody is the best feeling. I actually used to work for free at a local fashion brand just to satisfy this desire, giving away my sketches just so the company would make the clothes. I was just so happy and proud to see my designs on the customers.
Who are your favorite designers and why?
When it comes to fashion design, Công Trí is my idol. He’s a perfectionist at work, and the audience is always left in awe of his creations. He has a way of raising an ordinary subject to a new level. I’ve watched documentaries about him hundreds of times, memorising almost his every word. I’m grateful to him because he motivates me to be better.
What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
Fashion is my life, and so I pursue it with all my energy. When you pour your heart into something and really fight for it, success usually waits for you.
Photo: Nghĩa Bùi
Makeup: Minh Triều Đoàn
Model: Thanh Tuyền Nguyễn
Words by Rebecca Jones