Phuong My - Spring/Summer '15 - Telstra Perth Fashion Festival 2015
It's hard to forget a quote like that. Meryl delivers her lines in such a dry manner that is more than enough to cause anyone to re-evaluate their position on wearing florals during the Spring. Forever. The thing is, after setting eyes on Tran Phuong My's new collection, I couldn't disagree more with Miranda Priestly's remarks. If anything, her collection has reaffirmed my need to spend the Spring season in sculpted floral garments of beauty.
Consider this: Juxtaposed against firm and structured cuts, Phuong My's Spring/Summer 16 collection boasts cinched waists, flowing silk and femininity. Amongst the open backs, off the shoulder dressing and deliciously layered textiles are garments that somewhat resemble mid century style inspired by the orient.
Flirty feminine silhouettes are made out of a variety of materials including silk, lace, silk net, opaque organza and wool of which are sourced from Paris, Milan and Hong Kong. As international as her fabrics, Phuong focuses on complementing elegant and modern designs with the Asian female aesthetic.
Born in Ho Chi Minh City, Phuong studied mathematics before leaving for America. Graduating with honours from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and holding onto her penchant for design, she has presented at New York Fashion Week, Tokyo Fuse, Mercedes Benz Stylo Malaysia, Shanghai and Singapore Fashion Week to name a few.
Phuong is now in Perth for the Telstra Perth Fashion Festival and has brought her forty-six piece collection with her, in addition to her vision of sharing the beauty of the modern Asian woman, globally. She has certainly shared the beauty of both her gowns and South Korean Model, Kwak Ji Young. I do have to admit, the windswept hair does remind me a little of Margaret.
Her designs are housed throughout the globe, with store in Paris, Kuwait and most recently the twenty seven year old has launched her sister label My My (read: me, me) in Singapore's home of fashion on Orchard Road, Takashimaya.
Come October 2nd, she will be working in collaboration with Singapore's young artist prodigy Gelyn Ong to create fifteen special edition dresses for charity.
In muted green, pink and blue shades come floral designs produced in Vietnam and influenced by fashion and culture in countries that Phuong My has herself visited.
It is easy to spot where she has drawn her influences, with necklines of cheongsam, folds and layers of hanbok and the fitting of ao dai, traditional dresses of China, Korea and Vietnam respectively.
Zhang Jingna has worked with Phuong for years, photographing her first collections spanning autumns and winters to the beautiful editorials for the Spring/Summer'15 Campaign shot for Elle Singapore pictured here.
That's not to say that Phuong herself has not been a part of the fashion production and styling industry. She is well versed in the stylings of Harper's Bazaar, Elle and Vogue. However it hasn't been the easiest of processes along the way as she has had to overcome stigma and move past her parent's expectations of pursuing a career in business. She is dedicated to design and still sews her own clothes.
Phuong remarks that "good designs get the basics right through colours, material and design", believing that excellent designs "go beyond that to distinguish the way clothes drape your body, the construction of fabric, its cut and finishing".
It is evident that Phuong's focus is on accentuating the female aesthetic with clothes that surpass being just "good designs." It is refreshing to see a young and bold designer creating garments that are not only beautiful but provide women confidence in themselves.
So in response to Miranda's retort - ground breaking? Yes. In this case Phuong My is breaking floral ground throughout Asia and has cast her eye to the fashion realm internationally with her Spring/Summer collection.
I can't wait to share my photographs and experience of the show with you all. Phuong is presented by Singapore Airlines and will showcase her collection at 9.30pm on Friday the 18th of September at Fashion Paramount, Perth Concert Hall. Tickets available here. Photographs accredited to the talented Zhang Jingna.