At home: Nhu Duong

Nhu Duong in her home in Schöneberg.

Nhu Duong is one of those Berlin people, actually she’s Swedish (and born in Ho Chi Minh City), anyway– I always wanted to get to know her and was more than happy, to finally have the chance. She invited me into her home in Schöneberg, a big Altbau apartment with a weird layout that makes its bourgeois features (very high ceilings, stucco, old ovens and huge windows) actually a little less intimidating and gives it a very homey feel. But that’s not so much why I wanted to meet her. I knew her fashion design already, it’s been on my radar for quite some time, not only because Darryl Natale shot her lookbook for spring/summer 2013. But because I consider her aesthetic point of view a very strong and unique one, especially if placed in the Berlin fashion scene.

I’m not the only one appreciating her talent, shortly after finishing her studies at Beckmanns in her hometown Stockholm in 2009, her graduation collection was sold at Weekday and so it only makes sense, that these two collaborate again. Nhu Duong designed the new Weekday line for men and women, 1440, named after the minutes in a day and created with the idea to offer everything you need for 24hrs. Based on very minimal designs and muted colors, there’s a certain multi-functional and transformable character to it, making it possible “to move from the gym to the club” as she puts it.

Nhu Duong wearing one of the 1440 designs in her studio.
Nhu Duong wearing one of the 1440 designs in her studio.

The collection takes up two of the most current references in fashion: the 90s and sportswear. Nhu says: “I definitely think there’s a certain re-examination of our relation to the body. Sportswear is an important aspect of contemporary culture and at times can be a seismograph for deeper change. What makes the 1440 collection interesting is that the lines between sportswear and fashion are rather blurred.” Coming from a Kung-Fu family and being trained by her father since eight years old, working with the technological sides of sportswear is only coherent.

While 1440 will be in stores from March 7th, Nhu is already busy working on her own collection fusing sportswear and high fashion on a more conceptual level. Especially interesting are the seemingly clashing prints and textures she uses, iridescent and shiny material in loud colors on a simple shift dress or the translucent organza of a jacket contrasting the stiff and heavy pants fabric. Although she wouldn’t necessarily consider herself part of the Berlin fashion scene, I dare to count her in, just because her work makes Berlin based fashion design so much better.