|Director Hoàng Công Cường. — Photo coutersy of Hoàng Công Cường|
A fashion show honouring Vietnamese heritages will be held on October 20 at Việt Nam Craft Village Centre. The show is from a series entitled Bước Chân Di Sản (Heritage Traces), launched by director Hoàng Công Cường and model Hạ Vy.
Cường rose to prominence after directing the Southeast Asian Games' opening and closing ceremonies held in Việt Nam in May.
Việt Nam News reporter Nguyễn Bình chats with Cường about the show.
Could you tell the readers your idea about the fashion show series? Why do you choose the theme of heritage?
We nurtured the idea a long time ago. We see many scenic spots in our country. After successful shows in Hà Nội's Văn Miếu (Literature Temple) and Bản Giốc Waterfall in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bằng, we want to introduce and popularise the national heritage through the fashion show series.
I think that fashion is a key sector helping us access international audiences and tourists.
Who will present collections at the upcoming show?
The show gathers established designers who love traditional culture and art. We want to create an annual playground for the designers contributing to popular Vietnamese fashion in the world.
The participating designers are creative and have a passion for heritage. They include established and emerging designers who meet the demand of the show producers.
Each collection will include 15-20 costumes which were made by designers inspired by Vietnamese traditional culture and art.
Heritage preservation and development is still an unresolved issue. And you have made fashion shows at the heritage sites, how do you convince the local authority to co-operate?
What comes from the heart goes to the heart. I think that we do it with our hearts. The shows we have made are not commercially purposed, and they create communication effective to popularise the heritage sites and scenic spots at the localities to tourists.
Furthermore, the show producers aim to take advantage of the local culture and history, helping local people feel proud of their homeland. However, there are more difficulties when organising the fashion show at the heritage sites, such as budget and human resources.
You are behind the extraordinary shows making good use of technology and visual effects. What will you bring to the upcoming show?
If I make an outdoor spectacle show, I will use technology to honour the beauty of heritage sites. But in the fashion show series, we are not allowed to change or interfere in some localities.
Collections will be the key to the show. It will be held during the day, not in the evening, helping the audience see the collections inspired by local culture and historical resources and the space.
What do you expect from the Bước Chân Di Sản fashion show series?
The series will be held annually at different national heritage sites. I hope the series will be a professional event to urge the designers to research and study traditional culture creating unique designs.
Fashion is a field that needs a connection between people and cultural identity. From the disintegration of the trend of globalisation, fashion makers have begun to recognise that it is important to make their designs rich in Vietnamese traditional culture.
After the first version on October 20, the Bước Chân Di Sản series will take place in Tam Chúc Pagoda in the northern province of Hà Nam, Mù Căng Chải in the northern mountainous province of Yên Bái and Nhà Thờ Đổ (Semi-collapsed) Church in the northern province of Nam Định.
The series will help Vietnamese designers present their collections to the world. Furthermore, we hope the series will meet international standards, and we can export the series to the world.
You are a self-taught director. How did you come to the art? What are the most difficulties encountered?
I believe that my career chooses me. I studied banking and finance, not art. Then, I had a chance to work at Việt Nam National Television, where I joined big shows. As a student, I liked art but never thought about it as a career.
It also helps me discover myself. My effort in my career and my patriotism inspire me to create. I think that the difficulties make me stronger. I am determined not to give up, and I try to work to achieve my goal, even if it is difficult.
I have done, and I continue to do, aiming at honouring and contributing to the national heritage site's preservation and development. VNS