Women coat in kimono style by Yvette LIBBY N’guyen Paris
This kimono is suitable for all weather: They could be worn in layers to provide warmth in winter, and this modern design made of breathable fabric (silk) comfortable in summer. These advantages helped kimonos become part of people's everyday lives, especially Japanese vibes.
This fashion outerwear is finely created by Yvette LIBBY N’guyen Paris in the fusion of art and function, with the heritage Vietnamese lacquer silk.
Designer Style ID: YLNCruise21Kimono009
Colour: Black (Pantone Black 6C)
Designed in France - Made in Vietnam
Fabric: 100% fruit dyeing Lacquer silk
Lining: 100% fruit dyeing Lacquer silk
Belt: 100% fruit dyeing Lacquer silk
Tag: Premium Nubuck leather with laser cut
Washing instructions: Normal (recommended with washing bag).
Packaging: Luxury box, guiding book and price tag to international standard. A great gift idea for family, friends, colleagues and business partners.
Size: Our size chart is European standardization. Tell us anything special about your body size (if any) for an adjustment accordingly, for free of charge, via email@example.com.
Textiles have stories to tell. Lacquer silk: “Fabric like a mirror”.
This material is also sometimes referred to as “Leather Silk” in English and as Vai den or Vai Lanh My A in Vietnamese.
The name of the material alludes to the specific characteristics that make it so unique and that are reminiscent of lacquer or leather: made of silk, with a deep black colour, a satin weave (usually) and a shiny surface that only becomes more and more shiny and reflective when exposed to sun or washed.
Following the trail of this textile to the southern district of Tân Châu, adjacent to Cambodia, near the Mekong river. The fertile riverbanks offer an ideal home for the tree fruits that produce the dye.
Mac nura berries made into a dye bath. Photograph Augusta de Gunzbourg.
Historically, this region specialised in the production of this textile: from the raising of the silk moth, the spinning of silk threads and the dyeing of the fabric out of the Mac ura tree fruit (Diospyros Mollis) giving off that special black colour. In imperial times, the fabric is said to have been produced and worn only by highest-ranking mandarins of Vietnam and exported to China for the Chinese emperor to wear.
In the 1990’s however, very little of that industry remained and most workshops that still used the tree fruits to dye fabric did so on viscose, which was exported to Cambodia where it was worn as a sarong. Although silk worms were still present in the region, they were more commonly used as food and fried with whisky as a local delicacy. Older generations and people working in the fields would sometimes still wear trousers or shorts made out of the material.
Lacquer silk cloth drying in a field. Photograph Augusta de Gunzbourg.
Fortunately, after some work with local manufacturers, the use of silk was reintroduced progressively to the region and specialization in the know-how was revived.
How is the fabric made?
Once the silk is woven and ready, the fabric is dyed in enormous vats containing the pressed and filtered juice of the Mac ura fruit. That fruit is picked and ready for use from June to January and the silk is spun and weaved during the the rest of the year. The textile is washed, dyed and dried several times in that order.
Afterwards, the panels of silk (usually of 20.5 metres each) have to be dried in grass fields and in the sun. Lastly, the fabric is beaten by a giant hammerhead, giving it its shiny appearance. A lot of information about the making of the material can be found on the Facebook page of the workshop that helped in restarting the local craft: Tam Lang Silk- Lanh My A.
Since then, “Lacquer Silk” has become a recognised part of Vietnamese cultural heritage, reintroduced to the international fashion stage.
Some of Jacky Chan's or even Angelina Jolie’s outfits were made out of Lacquer Silk and a current, 35 episodes long, Vietnamese TV series takes place in the lacquer silk workshops!