POETRY IN MOTION: Attendees at Phuong My’s Tuesday morning runway show faced a serious climate change.
As many traipsed into Spring Studios with remnants of the snowy sidewalks on their shoes, they found their seats in a more fiery setting. Aside from the red lighting and toasty temperature in Gallery II, swirling circular fabrics flew up and descended thanks to several strategically placed circular fans. ”I like the poetic so I wanted to create an emotion,” the Vietnamese designer said. “This is the first time that we entered New York Fashion Week so the whole theme is called ‘Sayonara,’ which means good-bye to the Asian fashion show as we step into the U.S. market. So we wanted to bring something with us to create something emotional.”
With distribution in more than 20 countries, Phuong My aims to start selling in the U.S. The company’s namesake, who is also the creative director, has been in business for seven years. A team of people including executives from Eyesight and Kaleidoscope Consulting helped to execute the artistic element. “We wanted to create something emotional that would transform people from New York Fashion Week to another place,” My said.
Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, she was invited by IMG to join the New York crowd. Two years ago she was the first and only designer from Vietnam to showcase her spring collection during the Arab Fashion Week in Dubai. In Manhattan for 10 days, the designer said being away from home is the toughest part of the whole endeavor. “I really like New York’s energy — how people work here, how they get things done and how anything is possible within four hours.” she said. “I have fun when I work.”
Planning for a show in New York was a six-month undertaking, she said. “We were hoping to bring something of our Asian culture to New York Fashion Week. We wanted to send a concept of red to white to black to reflect an Asian country and Asian women.”
A cadre of beauty queens past and present saw her tailored and dramatic designs up close. Last year’s Miss Universe, Catriona Gray; the 2017 Miss Vietnam, H’Hen Nie; former Miss New York, Iman Oubou, and influencer Chriselle Lim were front-and-center. Two other attendees, FIT’s Valerie Steele and Patricia Mears, were ready for another cultural pursuit. They planned to catch an Alliance Française screening of Jacques Becker’s 1945 film “Falbalas,” which Steele said is a favorite of Jean Paul Gaultier.