• Text Cristian Burbano
  • 20th September 2018

A new Vietnam

With stints at The Row and having been personally headhunted by Kanye West while at Central Saint Martins to work on Yeezy, A Sai Ta’s focus is now his own brand, Asai, now in its fourth season as part of Fashion East at LFW. The Londoner’s mixed background, with a Vietnamese mother and Chinese father, has always played a pivotal role in his work, looking to his heritage to inform his collections.

After a recent trip to Vietnam, Ta now views his mother’s native country through new eyes, no longer the war-torn nation he experienced in his teenage visits but a more positive and optimistic place. The iconic Napalm Girl photograph by Nick Ut offers inspiration for the collection, in particular the recent quote by the girl herself, Kim Phuc, “Love is more powerful than any weapon.” This notion of leaving the horrors of war and hardship behind and moving towards the light are evident in the references found in his SS19 line.

Garments include military references, only subverted as celebratory armour: riveted bullet holes are embellished with ornate silver thread; camo print features from traditional green tones to a metallic zebra print and jacquard and silk organza patchwork; and American souvenir jackets are reworked into long dresses. Vibrant hues and luxe materials symbolise the new prosperity of Vietnam, while traditional ao dai garments are re-imagined into sharp tailoring.