After our debut collection “Road to Barmer”, a collection of clothes inspired by the artisan women of the homonymous village in Rajasthan in India, here we are again on a journey.
A journey with a completely new flavor, but made very difficult by the global health emergency known as Covid-19. A virus that has brought countries and cultures already in serious economic and social difficulties to their knees, not to mention the small artisan communities, sentries still awake with knowledge and traditions at risk of extinction.
We at Là Fuori are now trying to maximize resources in order to not to interrupt the precious productive bond established with our artisans in all these months of discussion and planning. If for us skipping a collection can mean a great waste in terms of time and finances, for the artisan mothers, we deal with every day, it means losing faith in the future. The future of their children, who derive their sustenance from our ideas.
A Vietnamese – inspired collection for women who don’t give up!
To cope with this situation, our brand is creating an INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY OF ACTIVE WOMEN in the dissemination of the voice of artisans, and in the enhancement of their wonderful cultures at risk of extinction before, during, and after the Covid-19 emergency.
Shortly before the virus arrived in our lives, we were traveling in Northern Vietnam, more precisely between the different ethnic communities of the Sapa plateau. In the wonderful land of rice fields and luxuriant forests, caressed by nostalgic morning mists and golden by sudden and penetrating flashes of the sun, the coexistence of very different people and cultures imprints in our mind an image of connection and sharing that has never abandoned us.
The district is home to eight different ethnic groups, all united by their own tradition to which each of them is perfectly rooted, but distinguishes them from completely different cultures, n detail the H’mong, the Dao, the Tay, the Giay, Muong, Thai, the Hoa and the Xa Pho. Dedicated in particular to local crafts, the elderly women in the villages are extremely skilled in creating handicrafts such as ethnic-style clothes and blankets.
It is precisely by spending time with some of these women, mothers and grandmothers that the idea of creating a living and strong connection between these “beautiful seamstresses” and women who live thousands of kilometres away comes to life. But how is this possible?
The idea gained from these reflections is now taking the form of a new fashion collection, created and inspired on that plateau, capable of telling of a femininity that does not give up. Being a woman among the top of the world, this is what we want to convey to our followers who have been following our adventures with passion and enthusiasm for about a year.
But who are these women and how do they communicate to our heart?
They are independent, energetic and inclined towards business. In these terraced valleys hidden in the mountains, are the women who speak English and trade.
Men drive the means of transport and work in the fields, wearing Western clothes, while wives, mothers and daughters, dressed in traditional clothes, accompany tourists on their treks, cook for them and conclude businesses.
On the other hand, in the history of Vietnam, despite the paternalistic principles of Confucianism, women have always played an important role. And since the early years of the Chinese occupation they have fought for the country’s independence.
Perhaps it is also due to the cult of the Mother Goddess, the oldest religion in Vietnam: mother goddesses are believed to have control over everything that happens in the world and invoke each other for health and good luck.
So is it they who have called us here or are we out there to invoked these strong and autonomous women to help us inspire and motivate our attentive and sensitive community?
Their Wonder is in our clothes
The reason why we set out in search of these rural populations was initially dictated by the deep interest in the ancient tradition of the hand-made loom, which still survives here and brings the manufacturing processes back to ancient memories, very precious to the soul and our brand values.
However, this was not the decisive factor in choosing these women as the protagonists of our future collection. What convinced us was the amazement, pride and wonder with which these creative heroines showed us the fruits of their art for hours, within the humble walls of their home, around a table set for us, in the company of their children who sought the attention of the unknown world that we represent.
The amazement of the craftsman who after months still taste the “fruit” created by himself with sacrifice and dedication, as if it were the first time he held that fabric, that loom, that silk in his hands, was the key to conceiving our new collection : Stories of Sapa
A collection that explores innovative fabrics on Vietnamese inflorescence, blending the ancient art of hand-weaving organic silk with a palette of bright colors inspired by the heights of the Sapa plateau. Embroidery thin as a winter frost, sharp pants and dresses with flounces in a ceremony between dusk and dawn worthy of a woman who knows how to dare. The collection is delicate and eccentric, celebrating creativity and the lively expressions of femininity. The scent of a new shoot is about to open. It is an eccentric, almost reckless seed for this stormy time.
But just believe it, as they do, the women of SAPA: a winter spring is at the gates of the heart.