Sebastian Gunawan, dubbed “the king of fashion” in Indonesia and one of the handful to be honoured as an Asian Couturier Extraordinaire, who displayed his Melange Des Sens collection at the event, said during his stay in the country he saw so many new Vietnamese talents.
“I have a question: why does Vietnam have so much talent?”
He did not attend the inaugural event last year, but “through the media, I saw the fashion week was quite successful and I wanted to visit Vietnam anyway.”
“Vietnamese fashion has something for me to learn.”
Dr Frank Cintamani, founder president of the Asian Couture Federation, said he could see several young talents in Vietnam.
France-based Julien Fournie, who was among 29 prominent international designers at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, said he decided to come to Vietnam to display his collection because he loves Vietnamese aesthetics.
“So many have impressed me during the time I have been here for the fashion week.
“Before this event I did not have much idea about fashion in Vietnam, and resorted to Google.”
He said he was impressed with the colourful designs, youthfulness and energy of his Vietnamese colleagues and also the general populace.
“I saw several beautiful Vietnamese women dressed well on the red carpet.”
Vietnam is an interesting place for fashion since people want to learn about it, he said.
He had a special word of appreciation for designer Thuy Nguyen, whose designs he said were amazing and the colours perfect.
“When I saw Vietnamese model Kha My Van and invited her to open my show in Paris, she was happy. I was satisfied with the performance of Vietnamese models.”
He described another Vietnamese designer, Hoang Minh Ha, as juxtaposing tradition and innovation.
The most important thing for a designer is to tell a new story and to tell about themselves, because if they treat fashion like that they would have freedom and liberty, he said.
After visiting HCM City’s War Remnants Museum, he said “this country, your amazing country, rebuilt everything in 40 years.”
Renowned Japanese designer Yumi Katsura, who has been in the industry for 50 years, was somewhat more forthright than her colleagues about Vietnamese designers, saying some of the collections she saw need improvement in terms of materials and techniques.
“I feel that Vietnamese designers are eager to grow, be successful and be better designers in a short term.”
Katsura seemed to amaze even her colleagues by presenting 40 wedding dresses and accessories worth a million dollars.
The Vietnam International Fashion Week, organised by Multimedia JSC, drew to a close on October 18.