BY Nhu Dong in Critic's Guides | 22 APR 15
Featured in
Issue 19


Designer Nhu Duong chooses her favourites from the worlds of fashion and art

BY Nhu Dong in Critic's Guides | 22 APR 15

All images courtesy: Nhu Duong

1 Miguel Adrover

The documentary Call It a Balance in the Unbalance, 2011, follows an uncompromising free thinker and one of my heroes, Miguel Adrover. He became an overnight sensation on the New York fashion scene in 2000 with one of my favourite ever fashion collections, Midtown – the key piece was a Burberry coat turned inside-out. But his fortunes fell just as fast as they rose when he lost his financial backing in 2004. The film follows him between New York and Mallorca, his past and present, his fame and misfortune, and reminds me how fashion was in the 2000s. At the same time it makes me wonder whether true creative genius is still possible in today’s fashion industry.

2 Ned Vena

I recently brought this piece home from my studio, which is a work of adhesive vinyl on steel by the artist Ned Vena. Part of a series, the piece indirectly related to my Interference Collection from 2013, which explores optical illusions and moiré effects in a similiar way. The look book for my collection was also shot at Société gallery in Berlin, using Ned’s show as a backdrop. I still need to find a place to hang the piece.

3 Yvonne Rainer

My favourite books are biographies. It’s easier for me to learn about a subject when I can relate on a personal level. I am currently reading Yvonne Rainer’s memoir Feelings Are Facts (2006; 2013) which was given to me as a birthday present. In it the dancer, choreographer and filmmaker traces her personal and artistic coming of age. The book mixes her difficult childhood and sexual mis­adventures with the cultural re-evaluations that occurred in 1960s New York.

4 Earrings

In fashion I have always been drawn to things where the distinction between what is natural or artificial is not quite clear. These are a pair of faux diamond earrings that I found recently in the garment district in New York. In some ways they can be considered kitsch, but I like to think that they bring out the artificiality of wearing even real diamonds.

5 Issey Miyake

This vintage Issey Miyake top was a gift from my friend, the artist Lucie Stahl. This top has a printed pattern, somewhere between retro 3D and military camouflage. It always amazes me how many different garments Miyake has been able to make with an extremely minimalist construction and only one technique – pleating. Even so, there are diff­erent ways to experiment with wearing this piece. I normally wear it back to front, which makes for a high front collar.

Nhu Duong is a Swedish-Vietnamese fashion designer who lives and works in Berlin and New York. She has worked with artists such as Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder (The Institute), Ei and Tomo Arakawa (United Brothers) as well as with Max Pitegoff and Calla Henkel.