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Dao Hmong Lolo Traditional Dress Traditional Textiles Vietnam

14 Reasons Vietnam Is The Best Destination For Textiles Right Now

Vietnam textile tour

Call me biased, but I say with conviction that Vietnam is the most unique and authentic country in South-East Asia. It has 54 distinct ethnic groups, many with their own language, lifestyle and long traditions that have been passed down through the generations. Between the tribal traditions, natural beauty of the landscape, incredible food and hospitable hosts, Vietnam is a must visit country worthy of anyones travel list. 

However. Vietnam is rapidly changing, and the changes affect all of it’s diverse people.

Increased access to technology, media and mass produced goods are making the world a smaller, more generic place. In Vietnam, this is as evident amongst the younger generations of indigenous ethnic groups whom are now being exposed to a new way of life and opportunities previously unknown to their elders.

Naturally, these young people are affected by what they see happening across the country, and they strive to fit in to a culture that was never their own in order to earn their place in the new world encroaching on them. As a result, traditional visual identities through dress are rapidly beginning to evolve, or worse, becoming extinct.

This makes Vietnam one of the best destinations for anyone passionate about textiles and ethnology, as it might not be too long before these unique people start to dress like everyone else.


14 Reasons Why Vietnam is a Top Destination for Textile Lovers


14. Eco fashion pioneers

For a women of the Vietnamese hill tribes, a new outfit takes a LOT of work. The vast majority of women make just one ensemble per year. No wonder, as many they grow their own hemp or cotton for weaving and produce their own natural dyes before they can even begin sewing. Truly inspirational for today’s ‘slow fashion’ innovators.

Ethnic travel Lao Lu orange dye Vietnam

Rubbing the Annato seeds together releases the natural pigment used for dyeing silk threads.


13. Killer sense of style

These women are bold and brave when it comes to expressing their style, knowing exactly how to mix and match colours, textures and garments just as well as any hipster posing on the streets of London or New York. Many swell with proud excitement when I ask to photograph their outfits, giving them a chance to show off their much loved, hard laboured and uniquely personal style. 

Vietnam tours textile in Vietnam style

Hmong girl at Sin Ho market by John Molds at Faceofvietnam.com


12. They care about what they wear

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Countries Lolo Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

Ethnic Travel in Vietnam: The Black LoLo Hill Tribe of Bao Lac

Ethnic Travel in Vietnam Black Lolo Bao Lac

My ethnic travel adventures in the North of Vietnam unexpectedly introduced me to the Black Lolo hill tribe of Bao Lac. The Black Lolo (also know as the Lolo Den and Lolo Noir) reside high in the mountains surrounding the small town of Bao Lac in Cao Bang Province. The Black Lolo are identifiable by the black cultural clothes they wear from which their name derives. In August 2015 I motorbiked from Ha Giang to Bao Lac to research the cultural costume and textiles of some of the 54 ethnic minority groups that live in these rural areas. It was on this visit to the Lolo village that I began to question the ethics and responsibility of my research when visiting remote communities.

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Countries Lolo Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

Flower Lolo Ethnic Minority from Vietnam

haute culture flower lolo minority costume vietnam
Preserving the beautiful cultural traditions of Lô Lô ethnicity.

The Flower Lolo are the elaborately decorated ethnic minority people of Meo Vac, Vietnam. Their kaleidoscopic costumes are meticulously embellished with approximately 4000 hand appliquéd triangles resembling tetris block formations. Five triangles can take up to two hours to sew, I know because in August 2015 I motorbiked from Hanoi to Meo Vac to learn for myself. Constructing a single costume takes about one year to complete, outfits are sewn by mothers for their daughters, only worn on best occasions and stored in a lockable chest. For that reason the Flower Lolo‘s dress is publically revered as one of  Vietnam’s finest sartorial accomplishments.

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Countries Dao Hmong Lao Lu Lolo Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

10 Vietnamese Textile Hill Tribes Every Fashion Lover Should Know

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 Are you looking for the best fashion show in Asia? Do you love handcrafted artisan ensembles? Unknown to most is that Vietnam has a staggering 54 different ethnic minorities, many of whom’s cultural costumes are more creatively crafted and indigenously inventive than those so called couture designers in Paris. 

  Check out Haute Culture’s essential guide to the real originators of individuality and style in South East Asia.

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Countries Lolo Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Traditional Textiles Tribes Vietnam

Lung Cu LoLo Ethnic Minority, Ha Giang, Vietnam

Lolo Lung Cu Village haute culture ethnic fashion costume vietnam

“No. No you can not see”, was the answer I was not willing to accept when investigating the location of the elusive Lolo people. The Lolo people (also known as the Yi people in China) are a very special 1 in 54 ethnic minorities from Vietnam living in the tiny remote village of  Lung Cu. Lolo people believe in folkloric stories, sharing tales of the past through dancing, festivals and playing music on sacred brass drums. They worship and celebrate legends, spirits and gods of nature. Lolo people have no distinguishable identifying features in the day time because they wear regular western clothes, but during  very special occasions a few times a year the women wear the most elaborate, vibrant and intricate costumes. 

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