In late 2021, Vietnamese fashion constantly impressed with many domestic and foreign activities. During the Vietnam National Day at World Expo 2020 Dubai, the art and fashion show entitled “The Eternal Flow” successfully completed the task of promoting the culture and image of Vietnam to international friends. Under the music of the song “Mua sen” (The dance with lotus), the collection “Nhung giac mo” (The Dreams), imbued with cultural identity by designer Vu Viet Ha, fascinated viewers on the fashion catwalk. With traditional embroidery techniques and inspiration from famous destinations, the collection introduces Vietnamese heritages that have been recognised by the world.
Meanwhile, designer Ly Quy Khanh’s collection brought the spirit of traditional art into the world of haute couture, honouring the artists and local handicrafts. The special highlight was the Chula brand collection named “Vietnamese pieces”, made by designer Diego Cortizas, a Spanish man who has been attached to Vietnamese brocade for many years. Miss H’Hen Nie and other models displayed brocade dresses to the sound of Central Highlands music performed by artists from Vietnam National Circus and the Central Highland Gong artists from Dak Nong. Costumes made of brocade materials highlighted the liberal, modern, and unique features through their patterns and colours, aiming to extend a message that traditional culture and national spirit always have a never-ending flow. The whole show made a strong impression on visitors and television viewers around the world.
Also, at the end of December, following two weeks of preparations, the 2021 Vietnam Fashion Week themed “Shining Life” was held in Ho Chi Minh City. The event was of great significance to the revitalisation of the Vietnamese fashion industry and support for local designers. Another notable activity was the 2021 Vietnam Design Week with the theme of “Awakening Tradition” since the end of November 2021. The week drew the participation of a series of quality entries from emerging names in the fashion industry such as Tom Trandt, Vu Ta Linh, Ngo Hoang Kha, and Thai Thuy Ngan. The event proved that Vietnamese fashion is not outside of the world’s general trend of association with cultural identity and moving towards sustainability and environmental friendliness.
For young Vietnamese models, the year 2021 is a successful year in the international market. Nguyen Quynh Anh, who was born in 1999, won the top prize in the 6th season of Supermodel Me Revolution, establishing herself as the first Vietnamese contestant to have triumphed at the competition. Many models have also had chance to cooperate with world-famous stylists, such as Tuyet Lan joining the show of Louis Vuitton and Phuong Oanh appearing in advertisement campaigns of Gucci, Dolce&Gabbana and Erdem. The models’ efforts towards professionalism and globality have contributed to lighting a positive signal for the country’s fashion scene.
A proud mark was that Vietnamese designers have gradually built their careers in the international arena. The most prominent is Cong Tri, who has been famous for his designs in famous global publications and costumes selected by nearly 100 international entertainment stars and artists. Following the footsteps of his senior, designer Tran Hung (born in 1988) has also constantly appeared in the international playground, becoming the first Vietnamese person to have 7 collections introduced on the homepage of London Fashion Week (UK). In addition, the names of other Vietnamese designers have been attracting the attention of international fashionistas, such as Peter Do, Phan Dang Hoang, and Lam Gia Khang. Their designs are all unique thanks to their inspiration from Vietnamese cultural identities.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnamese fashion industry has experienced a spectacular combination with technology and this trend is expected to continue in 2022. Many designers such as Do Manh Cuong, Chung Thanh Phong and Ivan Tran have quickly caught up with the promotion of their new collections via digital platforms. In addition to the "virtual" shows, the AI models appeared in Vietnam for the first time. The online fashion contest TikTok FashUP was held successfully, creating a borderless playground for the "billion-view" industry and realising the dream of holding fashion shows during the pandemic era.