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19/11/2022 - 07:13

Minh Thanh and the dream of combining innovation with tradition

Inspired by the patterns of Nhat Binh gown in the Nguyen Dynasty, Nguyen Huynh Minh Thanh, a female student from the University of Arts, Hue University launched her collection named “the Dream of Nhat Binh” and won the prize of the National Applied Arts Exhibition and Contest 2022. The Dream of Nhat Binh is not only just a collection but is also a dream of the young fashion designer.

Minh Thanh (second, from left) receiving awards for her designs

Combining tradition with modernity

In a corner at the space of Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, the designs in the collection “The Dream of Nhat Binh” were displayed in the 5th National Applied Arts Exhibition and Contest 2022 guided by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; chaired by the Department of Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition, in collaboration with related agencies in September 2022. Among various materials and the diversity in designing, many audiences paid attention to the works of the female student from the Faculty of Fashion Design Nguyen Huynh Minh Thanh due to her creativity and aestheticism.

The Dream of Nhat Binh is a collection with 4 real designs, but up to 20 design drawings. All were sent to the organizing committee before being selected for display. The juicy point is that from the patterns of traditional costumes of the Nguyen Dynasty, Minh Thanh has combined and created modern-styled dresses, tops and pants but still subtly carrying traditional values.

Nguyen Huynh Minh Thanh shared that initially, Nhat Binh gown was a court dress for queens, concubines, and princesses in the Nguyen Dynasty. Nowadays, it has become the popular kind of costume of Hue women at their weddings and it is increasingly popular with Vietnamese young girls when they wear it for checking-in and outdoor shooting, etc. She loved Nhat Binh gown when she has spent to learn and access this kind of costume for years. However, to reach uniqueness and bring closer access to youngsters, it is necessary to head towards the trendy and modern costumes of today’s trend. That is using the patterns of royal costumes on the designs of modern clothing.

Minh Thanh (left) with the collection “The Dream of Nhat Binh”

In many collections that Minh Thanh has designed during her study, Nguyen Huynh Minh Thanh cherished and saved the collection The Dream of Nhat Binh for her graduation assignment. Working meticulously and sophisticatedly, Minh Thanh has spent up to 4 months making the products and 2 other months for designing, reforming, and completing the designs from the stages of making demos, material handling, etc.

In this collection, Minh Thanh used Korean chiffon fabric and Thai slip fabric as the main materials. The female student also used glass bead embroidery and acrylic painting for the step of material handling. “My collection has gone through 2 times of thesis defense and received various assessments and instructions from the teachers before being completed”, shared Minh Thanh.

Mr. Vinh Khiem, M.A., in charge of Fashion Design, University of Arts affirmed that the passion, hard-working and the love for the profession, together with the perfectionism have led to the initial success for Minh Thanh. In fact, the direction of combining tradition and modernity in fashion design is not anything novel, which has been chosen by various designers. However, Minh Thanh has researched cautiously to exploit the motifs on Nhat Binh gown and convey them in the language of fashion and the sophisticated material handling. That has helped the topic of Minh Thanh receive the high appreciation by the Professional Council when it was approved at the school.

Spreading the beauty of cultural heritage

The National Applied Arts Exhibition and Contest is held every 5 years. This year, the competition attracted the participation of 538 works by 283 authors from 25 provinces/cities. The organizing committee selected 201 works and collections of 138 authors for displaying in the exhibitions and prize judging. The Dream of Nhat Binh of Nguyen Huynh Minh Thanh winning the consolation prize was one of those.

Although it was not the high prize, the recognition from the professionals has motivated the female student after her graduation to be more confident with the choice in her specialized work.

Minh Thanh shared: “Born and grown up in Hue City, I’m always proud of the land which is rich in history, culture and has numerous heritages. Many world’s famous designers have also used the motifs of their country’s costumes to create the unique designs. In terms of Hue, the beauty in the features of a cultural land is also needed to be spread outwards”.

According to Minh Thanh, there is nothing wonderful than the local people always try their best to contribute to the development of their hometown right from their own work and major. The advantage of youth has helped Minh Thanh to easier access to the trend of the same generation to spread the cultural values through designed costumes.

From the interest in culture and heritage, Minh Thanh would also learn more, thereby, she could carry out the dream of innovation in design, bringing the new but valuable feelings to keep on trying with other competitions with the aim at spreading cultural values to everyone.

Story and photos: Huu Phuc

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