Stitch By Stitch - The Vietnam COllection
Vietnam is a country teaming with cultural expression and beauty. No where is this more apparent than the rugged northwest region straddling the Vietnam-China border known as Lao Cai. It’s here, perched atop the enchanting Hoang Lien Mountains, that many of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority tribes call home.
The largest of these hill tribes, the H’mong and Dzao people, are easily identifiable as different from the rest of the Vietnamese population due to their differences in ancestral heritage, language and their colorful traditional clothing. While spending time with the local H’mong and Dzao people in this isolated region of Vietnam, our curators were granted the opportunity to learn about their ways of life and their ancient processes of manufacturing their clothing by hand.
We learned that in many ways, the women of the H’mong and Dzao tribes serve as the cornerstones of their families. They raise the children, tend to the crops, and continue the ancient hemp and indigo cultivation processes that are vital to their tradition of making clothing. We were shown how the hemp seeds are planted, harvested, dried and made into yarn. We were shown how the yarn is loaded onto wooden looms and their ancient spinning and weaving techniques using a wooden shuttle. We were shown their indigo dying process as well as the tireless process behind their hand embroidered designs and emblems.
We were also told that in ancient times, these hand embroidered patterns and emblems were decorative as well as communicative. According to oral history, when many of these tribes still resided in China, they were forbidden to use their original, written language. Instead, the women started sewing symbols onto their clothing to create messages, disguising them as patterns. This tradition continues to this day, as each hand-embroidered pattern and emblem featured in our Vietnam Collection reflects these tribes’ ancient traditions of using motifs and patterns to represent their daily life and culture on the designs of their textiles. No two jackets, necklaces or textiles are the same, as each garment has been hand crafted to communicate a stage in the owners life.
We came away from our time spent with the H’mong and Dzao people extremely impressed with the quality and craftsmanship applied to each garment and we are truly excited to present this one-of-a-kind collection to you.