Breaking into the fashion industry is extremely difficult, especially if you’re young and inexperienced. It can take years to develop a portfolio and save up enough money to start your own line, and even longer before anyone notices it. There’s no age limit for becoming a successful fashion designer, but you do need to possess technical skills, design knowledge and be able to showcase an individual style. Redwood is a project which was started by Ha Dang Nguyen in Hanoi when she finished her studies in early 2013. With friends from school, she presented Redwood for the first time at the Vietnam Fashion Week in the fall/winter of 2013 in Hanoi. Later that year, Ha Dang Nguyen came with her husband to Luxembourg and decided to keep the brand. So she kept the name while personifying it with the letter G as its the last letter of her name and whose anagram becomes: Gandah, which was her nickname in high school. Recently she presented some pieces in this collection of the “Marche des Createurs”. The inspiration of each collection is a set of elements that she observes while traveling around the world, with a special interest in ancient oriental cultures. The design process is entirely made in Luxembourg. The next phase is then done in Vietnam in a small workshop in Hanoi, where she follows the whole development of each collection. This means first comes selection of the fabrics, then the development of a prototype and in the end the production. Guided by passion, Redwood by G collections are “Designed with Love and made with Care”. Love for details and Care for quality are a must in Ha Dang Nguyens creative world. Her brand combines its Oriental origins with European styles and aims to provide a good balance of quality, in design and price. Everything is crafted in a small atelier and made with materials carefully hand-picked by the designer herself.
As a fashion designer you must strive for the top of the industry, and to build the best products and to work with the best clients, undoubtedly. But sensibility, and self-awareness, are priceless skills as a designer; to understand where you currently are, and who you could become. Believe in yourself and be conscious of what you create are a must. Also Ha Dang Nguyen is inspired by prior artists, that’s how art grows and changes over time. However, it is also important to find your own expression and not fall slave to certain styles or fads that won’t stand the test of time and won’t let you stand apart. Knowing how to read, use and design patterns is an essential part of being a good fashion designer. Start with reading and using, then move to making your own. The more comfortable you are with pattern-making, the less tempted you’ll feel to reuse stale ideas. Knowing how to handle fabric is essential for a good designer, and the earlier you learn this, the better. There are good reference books in libraries about fabrics you can borrow from the library; these will teach you about the weft and weave, about textures, strength and behavioural qualities of the fabrics. Ha Dang Nguyen is an artist who followed these rules in combination with her own ideas. Her newest collection was presented in April 2015 and with the success that came along, she is looking into a promising future.
(by Mike Mike Dostert)