During the SS 19 Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris, new emerging brands were featured. This season, XUAN couture grabbed everyone’s attention. XUAN is the fashion label of Dutch-Vietnamese designer Xuan-Thu Nguyen. Xuan-Thu Nguyen grew up in the Netherlands but has Vietnamese roots. As a kid, she was greatly influenced by her parent’s career in textiles. Being surrounded by her parent’s craftsmanship influenced her to pursue a career as a designer. Before starting her own couture brand, Xuan graduated from the famous Charles Montaigne Fashion Institute in Amsterdam. After launching her first collection, she received a national award supporting young Dutch creators, as well as presented her work in Gorizia, Italy along with 39 other emerging designers.
I had the opportunity to interview Xuan and get to know more about her work and her latest collection.
While creating her SS 19’s spring/summer collection, the designer based her clothing line on happiness. Inspired by the sparkles inside of people’s eyes; dresses and shirts come to life in all shapes and forms. This collection focuses more on details with a little less volume than what she is used to creating for a clearer perception.
She describes the feeling she had while creating her line by picturing a scene: “Imagine you are driving away, with your face up to the sun, feeling the light”. At this point in the article, you would think that the clothes have radiating colours. However, every single piece of the collection is black. Making us wonder why the fashion designer called this collection her “happier collection” yet.
She wanted to redefine our concept of darkness and happiness, black isn’t always a gloomy colour. An overlapping of singular lines and fabrics draws our attention and actually makes us feel what she meant by “A dark sweetness absorbs and emphasizes the feeling of this story”. The overall atmosphere was dreamy; the calm and soothing background music, along with the fog coming from under the dresses contrasted the darkness of the clothes, however, it managed to make us feel a certain kind of safety.
Her choice to make the whole line black was something she thought about deeply. Choosing to expose a simple and dark colour, we could focus more on the outside and the happiness. She is not very keen on things that are obvious, the idea was that you had to think a little more than usual on her latest collection. When there is too much going on, we tend to focus exclusively on the collection without extending our reflexion. Designing is a way for Xuan to tell her story. Her goal is to implant a seed of reflexion into people’s brains.
If you’d like to know about Xuan-Thu Nguyen and her fashion-label, Xuan, be sure to check out her website!