HMONG FASHION

by admin on April 19, 2011

handcrafted silver necklace

necklace detail

hmong skirt

another student in esme’s fashion class comes from the hmong tribe in thailand.  teresa is engaged to an american, but plans to wear traditional hmong costume to her wedding.  she brought to class 2 amazing necklaces fashioned by her uncle–one in aluminum and one in heavy silver.  both are unbelievably intricate, and the silver one must weigh several pounds.

in addition, she brought an array of traditional hmong dress.  these were elaborately woven and decorated skirts, dresses, and tops.  the backgrounds were black velvet with colorful hand-done embroidery and beading.

teresa (as i gather many bi-ethnic couples do) will have two weddings:  one a traditional hmong wedding and the other a traditional (!) american wedding.  for the hmong wedding she will wear a pleated white skirt (as she is from the “white” hmong), a black velvet top with embroidery, and the fabulous necklace crafted by her uncle.  for the american wedding, she will wear a traditional american white gown!

it is interesting to observe that traditional dress often makes an appearance for weddings and other ceremonial occasions.  even esme’s own wedding had references to her own (rather distant) ethnic background:  the hoopa, for instance, and the stomping of the glass, as well as the totally fun parading of the bride in a chair held up by male members of the party!

the article of hmong clothing that most intrigued esme (besides the silver necklace) was a pair of men’s pants that teresa whipped out as an aside. these were in a heavy black fabric with interesting seaming, and were harem-pantish in shape.  esme imagined they could be sold for a pretty penny in women’s boutiques, as the shape was just what the models in vogue are wearing these days!  esme would certainly love to try on a pair in her never-ending quest for style and comfort combined!

teresa herself hopes to become a fashion designer.  she always arrives at class with an original and fetching outfit and a spring in her step.  indeed, it appears that fashion design and fabrication run in her blood!

thinking a lot about weddings these days,

esme

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