ISSUE: Summer 2012
DEPT: Audrey Style – Stylemakers
EDITOR: Anna M. Park
After several seasons of custom and bridal design in her home base of Dallas, designer Khanh Nguyen debuted her first ready-to-wear collection for her new label Nha Khanh this season. True to its name (“nha” a feminine word suggestive of “light,” and “khanh” a masculine word meaning “celebration” in Vietnamese), the 32-piece collection, though seemingly simple, boasts meticulous construction. Light silks contrast with rare off-white lambskin leather; clean lines are bolstered by shocks of color (peony pink, a lipstick red) and unexpected asymmetric hems. Khanh makes special note of the bib on one dress with hand-cut “seaweed” strips. The silhouettes are classic, but those special details speak to Nguyen’s youthful perspective. (The designer is, after all, only 30.)
But don’t be fooled by her age. After graduating from the University of North Texas with a degree in fashion design, the Vietnamese American landed a coveted internship in Paris. She honed her skills at Nina Ricci, training in the art of haute couture sewing and lacemaking, as well as the draping methods of Madame Grés, the millinery skills of Jean Paul Gaultier, and accessories design of Anne Valerie Hash. She’s already dressed celebrities like Brooklyn Decker for the red carpet, so expect to hear a lot more of this up-and-coming designer.