Friday, 30 November 2012

Marie Claire Australia & Czech Republic

"From War Babies to Billionaires" the feature award-winning journalist Abigail Haworth and I worked on is now in the December issue of Marie Claire Australia and Czech Republic.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Coming in December: Saigon Street Style

I just finished shooting and writing feature story: Saigon Street Style for Smile Magazine, the inflight of Cebu Pacific Airlines. In it you will see six of this growing city's fashionistas and hear from four personalities how they're part of the new Saigon style revolution!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Portraits in Marie Claire US November International Report

Marie Claire US November International Report feature on wealthy Vietnamese women. Worked on this with award-winning journalist Abigail Haworth. Soon in Marie Claire Australia and Czech Republic.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Saigon Style with Truc Tran

How would you define your style?
Usually I go for chic. I match my outfit using contrasting clothes i.e denim top vs sheer bottom, lace crop top vs cotton short, etc. However, working at a school requires me to dress a little different [from my own style]: classic and sophisticated.

What's the trend amongst the young Viet Kieu's like yourself?
Well, I'm not a Viet Kieu. You can call me an urban chic girl. :) With the influence of Western mindedness and other Korean/Japanese 'culture invasion', young urban chics are now willing to put more effort to dress themselves nicely and stylishly. There are two groups: those who follow the lovely and sophisticated style of Koreans and those who follow the little exaggerations of Western style. But both must always follow one rule: no matter what you wear, your clothes speaks for you.

The selection of shops in Saigon is quite limited compared to other major cities in Asia. Where do you shop?
Well, I'm like a collector. I would buy clothes randomly as I find things I like. It could be Nem, Ivy Moda, Ma Belle, MARC, etc. the domestic brands in Vietnam or Western brands like Forever21, H&M, Mango, Zara, Accessorize etc. or no brand/handmade clothes at some authentic shops like Conquaden, Blue Print, Urbanista, Morning Coffee', etc.

Who inspires you?
Don't laugh but my love for fashion first came from a fashion program called America's Next Top Model. When I watched the 3rd cycle of ANTM, I thought I got struck by lightning. It showed me a whole new world of fashion. I don't have an individual inspirer, mostly I read magazines, read on the internet, read fashion blogs for inspiration.

Portraits in Marie Claire US edition

My portraits will be featured in the November issue. On magazine stands in the US starting October 23rd. Check it out!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Trust Yourself

The crew and I wandered the streets of Saigon looking for what I found inspiring. I spotted a dark alley with multi-coloured neon lights glowing nearby. After taking the first shot, I showed it to the team. My colleague Victor Liccioni said, "I don't see anything, but I trust you". That made me stay and work until I was satisfied. It remains one of my favourite images.

First Male Model Shoot

Just worked with a male model for the first time on a feature for luxury magazine Hang Hieu. Brands featured: Hermes, Ferragamo, Bally, Louis Vuitton, and more. Out mid-September. A behind-the-scene photo taken by art director Hoang Anh of me working with model Nguyen Khoa.

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Friday, 17 August 2012

Press | TV Clips for Nana Chen Photography

Just added the Press and TV Appearances gallery onto my website. Take a look! Click here

Thursday, 16 August 2012

100 Likes on FB Nana Chen Photography

I've been posting my fashion work on my Nana Chen Photography Facebook page lately and it's just hit 100 likes! Yay! Please take a look here Thank you all for your support!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Stylish Sixties

When I was thirteen, still growing out of the hair I'd cut myself, my mother discovered the Macy's Clearance Centre, a heaping mess of out-of-season clothes or whatever they couldn't sell. She also started driving us to garage sales, flea markets and consignment/antique shops in search of something beautiful. She usually did. Each weekend was a lesson on textiles, colours, the difference between silk crepe and rough silk, the difference between 100% linen and linen-cotton blend, the details, what worked, what didn't. She wore only cotton, linen and silk, but mostly dresses with a belt around her tiny waist. No matter how far apart we've lived, we have continued to explore different styles together, what new fabrics we've discovered, what new piece of clothing we've found and why we love them. Of course, we also tell each other when something doesn't work. Here she is, styled by me before heading to the airport in a cotton/linen blend tunic by Muji, elastic smocking at the neckline, bamboo cotton leggings by SONG Paris, and on her arm hangs a vintage Agnes b. snap button cardigan. Her bag is vintage Coach. Shoes by DKNY with leather brogue trim and the scarf is a gift from me purchased in Bangkok.

How do you choose your clothes?
See if I like the fabric, then if the cut fits me and the colour. Most importantly, it needs to suit me, not necessarily be in fashion.

How would you describe your style?
I don't know. I don't really think I have a particular style, but if I have to describe it, then anything uplifting and elegant. A combination.

You have lived in many countries, when it comes to style, which country most inspires you?
Italy and France. Their cut suits me better. I also love their textiles. They're different.

Friday, 25 May 2012

A friend and I were sharing an early evening drink when she nodded to two beautiful women at the neighbouring table. I instantly asked for an introduction and learned that one of them is Danish fashion designer Elisabeth Rolskov who created the label ER Couture. Having lived in Copenhagen where people watching was a great delight, I asked Elisabeth to bring out her latest creations for a quick shoot. Here they are. Her Q&A follows.

What defines your style?
My personal style and my designs share the same DNA! There are few things I enjoy more than wearing well thought-out clothes that are durable and of a high quality, and my own designs reflect this priority. Durability, quality and uniqueness are the most primary features of our designs; these are reflected in our fabrics, craftsmanship and attention to details. I have always loved fabrics and been specially excited about silk and natural materials. I never compromise on quality and continuously do my utmost to make things last.

What would you say is the concept behind your designs?
The mission of ER Couture is to give women garments that make them feel comfortable and beautiful, and our collections combine different design elements in a way that tries to redefine femininity. In this day and age, where the the catwalk model is merely a stick figure, we celebrate the beauty of the feminine silhouette by highlighting women’s natural curves and allure.

How did you get started in design?
The interest has always been there – ever since I was a little girl drawing glamorous dresses for my paper dolls. In school, I focused more on mathematics and political science, but my official start in fashion design was at a private school in Hong Kong. I continued my studies in China, at Raffles Design Institute for a few years and transferred to Ho Chi Minh City where I graduated.

How was ER Couture born?
I think ER Couture was born with me - it has always been a goal for me. Just after my graduation, I came across an excellent spot for a shop in my local area. As someone who is slightly larger than the standard Vietnamese lady, I knew there was an overlooked demand for larger sizes, especially for Westerners, so I set out to fill this gap in the market. Luckily, our designs were also well-received by the Vietnamese clientele, so we had to expand our size range and now carry standard sizes from 34-42! We also do made-to-order, and I am personally very proud of this service. I see this as a way of encouraging quality and “slow fashion” over mass-produced disposable fashion.

Why Asia and how does being in Asia help you?
Asia is a growing market and I believe that I stand stronger than most American/European designers, as I live and work in Asia where most clothing production is carried out today. I know the culture, the language, the market and the consumers personally, and have a lot of experience in managing and cooperating with suppliers.

Name three design elements you would take back to Denmark.
Our intricate knot-details, our kimono-style leather belts and our hand-sewn fabric manipulations.

Tell us about what you're wearing in the photos.
I am wearing one of our kimono style wrap blouses in silk and cotton. The high mandarin collar is delicately sewn with an elaborate smocking detail. An angular lace is attached around the edge. The belt is 100% silk with small Asian knot style buttons in the front. The pencil skirt is in cotton. You can't see it in the picture, but it has another knot-detail at the waist and elastic on the sides. In the other picture I'm wearing one of our comfortable cotton jersey dresses with dolman sleeves and low waterfall neckline at the back. The dress is accessorized with one of our leather belts with a monochromatic dragon embroidery.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Singapore Style in Saigon

I recently met Yeni Adam in Ho Chi Minh City and was captivated by her vibrant personality and feminine style. She generously allowed me to style and shoot her one afternoon in the streets of Saigon.

Q&A with Yeni Adam

What catches your eyes, in other words, how do you go about choosing an outfit for everyday wear? Formal occasion?

Daily wear: comfort + colours + accessories! I love pastels for daily wear. As a mom, I also have to consider materials that allow me to move freely, so denim and cotton are my best friends. Chunky accessories are the final touches for the day.

Formal occasion: I bend towards classic elegance. Classic cuts and colours like royal blue and jade green are my current favourites.

What would you say is a connecting theme in the beautiful pieces you choose?

Classic & chic.

If you had a fancy dress party, what theme would you choose?

Alice in Wonderland. There is a tiny part of me that wants to wear quirky eccentric colours out to the mall... since that is never going to happen, I would love to have a party with bursting colours everywhere!

Please give us a few stories about what you're wearing.

The DVF black V-neck printed dress is from my husband. First gift he bought for me while we were dating. I came home from work and saw a paper bag on the bed. Honestly, I was slightly worried because I was not sure if it was the right fit...but it turned out well! I was really impressed by him.

The circle-detail copper with braid leather necklace reminds me of Sapa. I have always been interested in the people of aboriginal regions, like Papua New Guinea and Sapa.

The green silk clutch purse is from Covent Garden, London. I was out discovering the new city when I saw this purse. I appreciate details and prints on bags because my daily attire is usually simple so such bags will help pop the outfit a bit more. On top of that, this green purse has the Cath Kidston touch to it.

Finally, the Chanel handbag is a gift from my lovely husband. It is a thank-you-for-going-through-labour-for-us sort of present :) This classic handbag goes with almost everything in my wardrobe. Versatile piece.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

More of FU Style Blogger Kim Philley

I couldn't get enough of styling and shooting Kim. Here we are again out in my old Bangkok neighbourhood near midnight and my rented balcony.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Latest Fashion Feature for HerWorld Magazine Vietnam

Another fun fashion feature shot for HerWorld Magazine February Chinese New Year issue. It was great as always to work with the talented team comprised of Victor Liccioni & Hoang Anh for styling and concept; Ha Anh Vu, model; Cu Tie, for hair & make-up.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Kim Philley in Bangkok

My friend and I had the fortune of getting lost in a freight lift last weekend in Bangkok with an elegant woman in a beautiful dress. I couldn't keep my eyes off the pattern of blush and taupe ferns. As we were all going to the same photo exhibition, I later introduced myself properly. It turned out, we had a lot in common, one of which is an obsession with style and fashion. Kim is the Bangkok-based fashion blogger for FU: "It's not an insult, it's a fashion blog". Here she is, the top styled by me from the streets of Bangkok.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Other Life as Lifestyle TV Presenter on Travel Channel with Andrew Zimmern

Just found this on Youtube! Eating with Andrew Zimmern is always great fun even though at times it's like jumping off a cliff. He is so enthusiastic, knowledgeable and adventurous about food it's contagious!

Here we are eating together for the third time in Bangkok, starting 10:00 into the video here and finishes in Chinatown at this link. Bon Appetit!

Some clips from the video

Not sure if I liked what I was chewing

Full Chinese banquet at 8am

"Spit it out!" He'd just bitten off half of a vegetarian shrimp from a market stall. I flicked the other half off his hand.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

My First Fashion Feature Shot for HerWorld Magazine

This was shot last summer in Saigon. I had the privilege of working with Victor Liccioni and Hoang Anh who styled the shoot.