Friday, 19 April 2013

New Project: Vietnam's Pajama Ladies

I started this project a few years ago when I first started coming to Vietnam. It was obvious quite early on that Vietnam loves its bright colours and bold prints, often several worn at the same time. I started taking photos in Chinatown one day outside a market.

What I found is these pajamas move with the women who quite often are working class women running a street cafe or carrying bundles to and fro. They haven't got time to fuss about with zips, flaps or drawstrings. And as most of these pajamas are made from synthetic fabric, they dry quickly under the hot Saigon sun after a long day's work. There are ones with a scoop neck, a bib collar or a tank with frills added on. While these outfits can be bought at markets, some women make their own adding special touches.

Here is one lady I first noticed from the window of my taxi selling coconuts at a roundabout. After seeing her cherry blossom shirt jacket, I got inspired to walk around the streets the next day for more portraits of pajama ladies. As luck would have it, I spotted her in the same jacket after walking a few blocks, this time sitting on the curb of Vincom Center I, Saigon's first shopping mall.

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