Four earrings features colours and shapes inspired by travels to the Hmong people of the Miao culture in the Yunnan, province of China, and bordering village of Sapa neighbouring Vietnam.
"I have always been fascinated by the Miao population in Southern China and it more widely used name, the Hmong ethnic minority, Having lived in both China and having traveled to the Sapa region of Vietnam (right over the border fromYunnan province China), I started to notice the similarities between the local people and the Miao ethnic minority in China, mostly the vibrant colours and intricate patterns. I was intrigued by the mystery of a similar mountain life on opposite sides of a political border. This is why I have chosen to integrate their COLOUR (cinnabar, turquoise and senape), they TEXTURE (intricately worked metals and textiles like filagree and basket weave) as well as SHAPE (the impressive horn shape of the Long Horn people)."
But although the colours themselves were inspired by mountain life of Sichuan, Yunnan and Sapa, the collection is a fashion collection and its wearability and style was greatly influenced by the trendy and exciting street fashion in Old Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) before the Second Indochinese war (Vietnam war), a sweet spot for Vietnam where they could still enjoy the aesthetic remnants of colonial France by way of fashion, food and architectural influences, all whilst basking in a short lived time of peace and independence.; a period from 1954 until the civil war warmed up around 1965.
The earrings were intended to reflect the sexy style of the early 1960’s Vietnamese traditional Ao Dai; a modernised conservative dress and pants combo rendered more sexy by the local French tailors during their presence. The flowing dangle of the earring reminded me of the sultry silhouette of a Saigon beauty; moving much in the way an Ao Dai moves when a woman is walking in it under her peaked sun hat.
The mood of the photoshoot , inspired by a French love story, The Lover by Marguerite Duras which took place in French Indochina, represents a cross-section of many elements. Although the book itself predates my design inspiration period, I found it to be a timeless and romantic, metropolitan market place setting where street savvy travellers, intoxicated by the fever of the local beauty, let their secrets unfold as they cross paths with the artisans and food sellers from neighbouring villages.
Collection created in collaboration with the fashion designer Neima Sitawi.
Four models of earrings available.
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