designer made French chevalier
in shining fashion: Designer Minh Hanh (centre) poses with friends
after receiving the title last night. — VNS Photo Thanh Vu
Vietnamese designer Minh
Hanh was granted the title Knight of Arts and Letters (Chevaliers des Lettres et
des Arts) by the French government for her contribution to promoting
Franco-Vietnamese cultural co-operation in fashion.
Hanh was given the title
by Consul General of France Nicolas Warnery in HCM City last night.
Hanh is a leading figure
in Viet Nam’s fashion industry and is well-known for her successful
combination of Vietnamese traditional fabrics with modern styles, which is
present in her ever-changing ao dai designs. Her various collections have
been introduced in many countries like Japan, Germany, France and the US. She
became the first Vietnamese designer awarded an international prize at a Tokyo
Fashion Fair in 1997.
As a director of the
Vietnam Fashion Design Institute (Fadin), Hanh initiated Viet Nam Fashion Week
– a rendezvous of professional designers, and Viet Nam Collection Grand Prix
– a competition for young designers with an international jury, including
examiners from the French Fashion Design Institute.
She soon became the bridge
between Vietnamese and French fashion after helping boost fashion activities
between the two countries through different programmes signed with the French
Fashion Design Institute.
Vietnamese designers have
won scholarships to France for further study in fashion while French lecturers
of fashion have come to Viet Nam to provide training courses to 15 young
talented Vietnamese designers.
In 2002, Hanh held two
fashion shows dubbed White Night in Paris and Far East in Nantes after joining a
two-month course for professional designers in Paris.
She was also invited to
join the jury of ESMOD by Paris Cultural Department. As a key fashion partner of
the French Consulate in HCM City, she collaborated with French directors and
artists to direct Vietnamese and French programmes at Viet Nam’s Festival Hue.
Established in 1975 by
French General de Gaulle, the title Knight of Arts and Letters is given to
people with outstanding achievements or great contribution to the arts and
literature to France and the world. — VNS