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The charm of communities where the world can’t lay a hand on

If you’re looking for some inspiration for fashion, ethnic minorities in the Northwest of Vietnam is where it’s at. Vietnam boasts a prosperous tradition in textiles, especially when it ... Read more


  • April 27, 2019
  • Travel Guide
  • 59

If you’re looking for some inspiration for fashion, ethnic minorities in the Northwest of Vietnam is where it’s at.

Vietnam boasts a prosperous tradition in textiles, especially when it comes to hand-woven ones among the distinctive minority groups. Those artworks convey personal and spiritual identity such as marital status, social status, tribal history, accomplishments and personality. Even though textile weaving strictly follows conventional practices, there is plenty of rooms for individuality and differentiation.

Despite of Vietnamese reputation for modesty regarding to feminine traits, ethnic women shine in their unique beauty. Don’t be surprised for that. They may not know the first thing about fashion in term of modern concepts, but they found their way. Unlike the way Western girls express their gender awareness, it’s totally different. Part of the reasons why people dress up is to attract the opposite gender. And the ethnic minority is no exception. If we wear a ring to claim our marital status, the ethnic minority use their fashion. It could be some accessories in the hemp of a skirt or the number of buttons in the shirt coming in odd or even number, respectively for single or married girls.

The event where the world get to see all of this is the ethnic markets. To call it a fashion show is an understatement because it’s way more than models and clothes. The people here truly live that.


Those special symbolic patterns reflect the nature at its prime such as birds, tiger eyes, horse, trees and the rice terraces… The women use their rich imagination combine with diligence perseverance in every stitch to make a complete costume.

Highlight items

One of the highlight must be the headgear which look like a stylish hat which every women enjoy wearing it. The ethnic minorities believe that the head is where the soul and the spirit of a humanbeing are being kept. At first, the headgears were to fully protect the heads, and gradually the women put in those their characteristics and their creativity.

Red Dao Headgear
Red Dao Headgear

The hats for the babies are another sophisticated work of their mothers. It’s not just for keeping warm in the harsh winter but also keeping them from the evil spirits. In addition, the hats with silver jewelries or pearls also represent all the best hopes their parents have in them.

Red Dao Baby Hat
Red Dao Baby Hat


They use the natural color from many kinds of tree in the forest and dye carefully until it reaches the color they want, the most popular one is black and blue indigo. Other than that, the bright colors such as red, purple and yellow are the favorite ones. All of them contribute to the colorful and vibrant picture of the Northwest mountains.

Traditional Costumes of Flower H’Mong
Traditional Costumes of Flower H’Mong

The most popular question is how can women find the time for all of this despite the huge workload of a wife and a mother? Get to know their stories and you’ll be startled by the things those women are capable of doing on a daily basis.

There is no doubt that the way people dress speaks out loud about themselves. However in a community where all dress the similar way, it represents the value of a culture. Let’s take a closer look at the fashion taste of Vietnamese ethnic minorities by paying them a visit in this summer. Our experts are more than happy to help you with that.

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