by Ilaria Picardi

Chula Fashion Show

Chula Fashion Show

If you’re used to listening to a certain kind of music, you might be surprised by finding out your appreciation of a new sound in your ears.
At first, you may feel a little confused, but suddenly you realize that you’re already into the sound, you can feel it, you definitely understand it. Actually, you’re just in love with it.

I just tried to explain what happened to me at the first sight of Chula Fashion Show, that opened the last day of Vietnamese Fashion Week in Hanoi. I was surprised to see on the catwalk just two colors, white and black. The first one is the color of the light, it contains in itself all the colors of the visible spectrum, while black, which represents the darkness, is the absence of colors and of course the opposite of light. As I’ve first known Chula design, I’ve learned to associate it with an explosion of joyful colors, unusual shapes and embroideries in a neat and clean dress line. So, I was expecting that suddenly the following dress would have been colorful as usual, although the shapes and the embroideries were terrific as ever.
But the music went on as the dresses went out one at a time from the backstage, on and on, without any colors in them. Just black and white. The absence and the existence, the darkness and the brightness. Together.

The concept is clear as usual in all the work of Diego Cortizas (the designer of Chula), you can touch the intimate meaning just giving one glance at the collection. You can feel how the designer gets inspired and creates the collection: surrounded by silk, velvet, layers of fabric and piles of buttons (the only touch of color to the entire collection, sewn on a beautiful “áo dài“, the Vietnamese traditional dress), while different types of music come out from the speakers of the stereo, recalling ancient times, sumptuous clothes with which the ladies used to go to the Opera, light and fluttering dresses Charleston-style of the Twenties, the semi-darkness of the smoky pubs where John Coltrane or Nina Simone performed. A great tribute to the art of sound, an exquisite blend of Music and Fashion, undoubtedly two important parts in the life of a talented artist like Diego.

Musical instruments, famous singers and songs, an astonishing combination of cultures and traditions. East and West: so far away, and yet so close.
Using his unmistakable design and the wisdom of a European man perfectly integrated into the Asian culture, but that doesn’t forget his roots, Diego tributes both cultures, creating perhaps, as I like to imagine, a new way of thinking, where there are no limits or boundaries anymore: just the pure concept of the human being, that reveals the history of the whole world.

The fashion show was a fantastic progression of great music inspirations. The pentagram marked the rhythm of the outfits’ succession with a tasty and unusual harmony. From classical music (extremely interesting the choice of the Vivaldi’s Spring in the presentation of a fall/winter collection) to rock, reggae, jazz, opera, traditional vietnamese music and, of course, an enchanting spanish flamenco song, featuring the gorgeous dress on whose back was written “Olè!”.

Standing ovation, just like after an egregious concert of fashion.