A fashion designer in Vietnam has recently stunned local audiences with his fashion illustrations using traditional southern delicacies, including banh xeo, to create vibrant patterns for his designs.
Nguyen Minh Cong has newly released Fashion - Food, a collection of gorgeous evening gowns inspired by southern Vietnamese specialty cakes such as banh xeo (Vietnamese pancakes), banh da lon (steamed layer cakes), and banh beo (steamed rice pancakes), to mention a few.
Nguyen Minh Cong designs an evening gown using 'banh xeo.'
According to Cong, this collection was the fruit of his labor during the last four months of the social distancing period in his hometown of Vinh Long, located in the Mekong Delta.
"Initially, I only wanted to cook to relieve stress, serve my family, and reminisce about the dishes I ate as a kid," Cong told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
"However, with the endless passion for design, I have ultilized my imagination when cooking.
"My parents also contributed to this collection."
Nguyen Minh Cong snaps a selfie with his parents in his hometown of Vinh Long in southern Vietnam.
It is not simple to combine princess gowns with classic southern sweets that every Vietnamese has tasted at least once in their life.
Cong, on the other hand, has proven that fashion knows no bounds with this one-of-a-kind collection.
He made a mannequin out of paper, set it against a backdrop of banana leaves from his garden, and then created colorful princess gowns out of food.
To construct a stunning and unique golden princess costume, Nguyen Minh Cong cuts ‘banh beo' into little pieces of the triangle and stacks them on top of each other to make them appear like fish fins with a base of mung beans below.
"From brainstorming to preparing materials to create the cake, designing clothes on it takes more effort," Cong said.
"Each batch takes between one and two days to complete. It took me a week to finish seven beautiful evening dresses.
"Despite the fact that it is time-consuming, I am happy since I was able to be creative in a completely new field while avoiding sadness."
Cong hopes that his food collection will soon be able to use the language of fashion to communicate the tale of Vietnam's southern cuisine to fashionistas.
The plunging neckline of this ivory-white garment wows fashionistas. It was made from jackfruit leaves and rice flour. After steaming, the ‘banh la mit’ (jackfruit leaf cake) shows layers of veins that resemble chiffon fabric texture.
‘Banh tam khoai mi' was used to create this design (silkworm steamed cassava cakes). The multicolored five-tier evening gown was skillfully set up by designer Nguyen Minh Cong, with the emphasis being the color shift from dark to light, giving lovely tassels. Moreover, the white shredded coconut creates the feathers as a highlight to give the outfit softness, flexibility, and elegance.
Nguyen Minh Cong uses the yellow color of ‘banh xeo’ (Vietnamese pancakes) to form a skirt layer, with the bottom of the skirt being the green color of lettuce, herbs, and bean sprouts creating white tassels.
By mixing two hues of white and green, Nguyen Minh Cong creates a pleating layer using ‘banh cuon ngot' (Vietnamese sweet steamed rice roll). In addition, he adds coconut and mung beans to imitate beads on the dress's body to make it more vibrant.
Nguyen Minh Cong takes advantage of the vibrant colors of ‘suong sa hot luu’ (Vietnamese jelly dessert) to render this dress more luxurious.
Designer Nguyen Minh Cong creates stunning green-and-white pieces by cutting slices along the ‘banh da lon' (steamed layer cake). Using the cake's softness, he curls it to create a floating texture that enhances the dress's vibrancy.
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