Inspiration: Traditional Lü Jacket (Northern Laos/Vietnam)

Last month, I shared with you the striking similarities I spotted between traditional Chinese and Tai skirts and the Issey Miyake Pleats Please look.

But it seems that Mr. Miyake isn’t the only designer who may have found inspiration in the designs and handiwork of traditional South-East Asian garments…

During the same visit to the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, the jackets on display brought me right back to the rack at Merci, where I’d fallen in love with an Isabel Marant embellished jacket.

Lü Jacket full

The jackets created by the Lü people, originally of Northern Laos/Vietnam, at the Quai Branly were showcased under archival (i.e. very low) lighting, so taking a high quality photo with my point and shoot camera proved to be frustrating – but I did manage to capture the essentials of the garments’ design. The main features of the Lü jackets are the fitted peplum shape, and the embellishments of embroidery, ribbon and metal accents. The one pictured above dates from the first half of the 20th century but with the detailing and the peplum, wouldn’t be out of place on the streets today.

Photo credit Isabel Marant

Photo credit Isabel Marant

While the main bodies of the Lü and Marant garments are different in shape (peplum versus boxy) the embellishments are eerily similar. Diagonal patterns, lines of sewn on patterned ribbon, and metal studs make them look like not-so-distant relatives.

Lü and Marant

7 thoughts on “Inspiration: Traditional Lü Jacket (Northern Laos/Vietnam)

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