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Womenswear a new normal among Vietnamese male celebs

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Several Vietnamese male stars have pushed the boundaries by embracing womenswear, drawing divided reactions from their fans.

Early November, pop singer Erik performed in front of thousands of Saigon fans. After the show, instead of talking about the performance, netizens turned their attention to Erik’s outfits during the night: a crop top with a see-through detail showing off his belly, and tight leather pants.

“Why do you keep wearing feminine clothing, this is weird,” a netizen commented when seeing people share photos of the singer in his attire.

But Erik is not alone in his plight. Over the past few years, a host of Vietnamese male celebrities have redefined their masculinity by opting for feminine fashion, raising many eyebrows.

Erik performs in a black crop top with a see-through part. Photo courtesy of Erik.

Erik performs in a black crop top with a see-through midriff. Photo courtesy of Erik.

Male stars in gender-fluid outfits with fabrics, colors, and designs formerly associated with women, have been seen on catwalks and on the street.

Materials that are soft and bright, such as voile, sheer, and chiffons in summer to heavier materials like wood tweeds, velvet, and fur-like fabric in winter, are now entering men’s wardrobes.

Recently, Tran Thanh, an HCMC-based comedian and TV host, joined a number of male celebrities including rapper Karik and singer Ngo Kien Huy to bravely don frayed edge jackets made of tweed, formerly thought to be exclusive fabric for women. Later, singer Ngo Kien Huy donned a shiny blue sequined suit at an event in HCMC.

Some other male artists have joined the trend by appearing in colorful outfits like rising rapper Binz with a wardrobe bursting with pink and red colors, a luster satin-like look contrasting with his muscular build and tattoos.

Other male stars are not wary of performing in clothing bearing designs and details associated with women.

Early 2020, hip-hop star Son Tung MTP did not only embrace ladies’ wool and duffel coats but also high heels with a pair of high-rise wide-leg jeans and a red sweater to mirror the nostalgic look of a hip Vietnamese woman from the 90s.

Designer Ly Qui Khanh even pushed things further by crossing the runway in a long black gown with flower detail as a vedette for a wedding collection by a local designer.

Love it or hate it

The fact gender-neutral trends are rising among Vietnamese male celebrities and fashionistas struggle to persuade locals, who hold divided opinions about their idols choosing womenswear.

When comedian Tran Thanh posted a photo of himself in a tweed jacket, his fans told him to return it to his wife. Singer Erik was criticized for not being “socially suitable” and unmanly when performing in his mesh-trimmed body crop top.

Some news outlets ran headline images of male stars in these outfits, calling it “strange”, “controversial”, and “shocking”.

Meanwhile, many others have expressed their admiration and support for their boldness and praised these male stars for their novel transformation.

“He is a star and should be encouraged to try out many fashion styles,” a netizen commented under a photo of singer Son Tung MTP wearing a beige sweater with relaxed jeans. Many agreed, maintaining some male stars give womenswear a new breath.

Son Tung MTP causes controversy when wearing a beige sweater with relaxed jeans. Photo courtesy of Son Tung MTP.

Son Tung MTP caused controversy in a beige sweater with relaxed jeans. Photo courtesy of Son Tung MTP.

Celebrities have their own “excuses” when it comes to showing off their supposedly controversial fashion tastes.

Saigon-based stylist Le Huynh Tan Phat said he does not care about the controversy, as long as his client, TV host Tran Thanh, feels confident about his outfits.

“This is the first time he has worn tweed,” Phat lamented when receiving comments about Thanh’s new jacket.

Echoing Phat’s opinion, stylist Hoang Ku said he was willing to try as many fashion styles as he could, including womenswear.

No rule

According to fashion insiders, the popularity of women’s clothing among Vietnamese male stars reflects the global trend of the past few years.

Across the world, fashion design to accessories and cosmetics are being “gender-bended” and the borderline between feminine and masculine erased.

While women have embraced menswear for years by wearing suits, military jackets, blue jeans; the trend for men to reciprocate has been slower, only taking off in the last few years.

Recently, pop singer Harry Styles made his first solo appearance on Vogue’s December 2020 cover in a dress to an inevitable backlash.

“When you take away ‘There’s clothes for men and there’s clothes for women,’ once you remove any barriers, obviously you open up the arena in which you can play,” Styles maintained.

Many fashion experts gave him kudos, including Italian fashion designer Alessandro Michele, who said he is “the image of a new era, of the way that a man can look.”

In Vietnam, unisex fashion has grabbed the interest of Vietnamese youngsters in the last decade thanks to the popularity of television and the internet.

Tom Trandt, designer and owner of “Moi Dien” fashion brand confirmed this, saying the unisex style is a part of Vietnamese culture, and most brands would focus on personal customization to meet their clients’ demands.

The popularity of womenswear among Vietnamese male stars did not take off until the social and economic changes inherent to rapid industrialization, modernization and international integration made young people, including these celebrities, want to portray the nuances of their personalities.

“Through style, I want to stand out in the crowd and show people that I am different. Why we have to wear the same clothes as in the past?” asked Le Hoang Ha, 24, fashion student in HCMC.

For those working in showbiz, where people appreciate personal discrepancies among artists, fashion always plays an important role.

“Artists have a big ego and want to have diverse styles for their fans to enjoy,” stylist Hoang Ku said, adding nothing is exclusively for men or women in fashion because there are no rules.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/life/style/womenswear-a-new-normal-among-vietnamese-male-celebs-4199822.html

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Hanoi woman runs business producing bags from plastic waste

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Fashioning new from the old, a Vietnamese woman in Hanoi has established a business producing bags from recycled plastic and cloth, leaving behind no waste.

As a person having practiced eco-friendly lifestyle for several years, 35-year-old Do Dieu Linh has always prioritized canvas bags, cloth bags, and reusable personal containers, while restricting single-use plastic ones.

Linh has always wished to replace plastic bags that people often take from daily shopping with cloth or recycled plastic alternatives.

“Each shopper can reduce about 2,000 plastic bags every year if they use cloth or recycled plastic bags,” she estimated.

Linh was suggested by her friends to create cloth shopping bags in 2019, taking advantage of rags in the fabric production process in combination with waterproof materials that she collected.

At the beginning of the business, she contacted local printing houses to collect their faulty products made from hiflex — a loosely woven material from strips of polypropylene plastic also known as tarpaulin, including backdrops, banners, umbrellas, outdoor light boxes and billboards.

However, as the printing houses’ defective products were not of good quality, the woman started sourcing the material from agencies specializing in organizing events, fairs, and exhibitions.

So far, those agencies have become Linh’s ‘close suppliers.’

The collected plastic materials will then be cleaned and dried before merged with cloth and tailored and cut into sturdy, attractive bags.

“No words can describe my feelings when successfully transforming discarded materials into usable things,” Linh said.  

“It is the motivation for me to collect leftover plastic wherever I can.

“Sometimes I don’t see it as trash anymore, but more like a resource.

Along the run of her business under the brand Gaea, Linh produced and sold about 1,000 recycled-material bags at low prices to attract customers.

The business has also expanded to include 20 different products, such as passport and other personal document covers, headphone containers, and cup pads, which are put on sale at eco-friendly product stores across Hanoi.

It is estimated that after more than a year, the Gaea brand has recycled more than 10,000 square meters of hiflex material and produced over 5,000 products of all kinds to the market. 

Its production facility, which is located in northern Thai Binh Province, has also created jobs for several rural female tailors.

“I want to recycle until no more hiflex is released into the environment,” Linh said.

One of the challenges for Linh’s business is that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for her to source used plastic materials as fewer events are organized.

However, the businesswoman sees this as good luck.

“They don’t use tarpaulins anymore, so the amount of tarpaulin released into the environment has shrunk,” Linh said.

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Source: https://tuoitrenews.vn/news/ttnewsstyle/20210118/hanoi-woman-runs-business-producing-bags-from-plastic-waste/58844.html

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How to plan and keep New Year resolutions

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Psychologist Matthew Ryan. Photo courtesy of Family Medical Practice

Matthew Ryan*

It is not too late to plan your New Year’s resolutions especially as Tết (Lunar New Year) is still approaching.

Last year my partner and I put two whole days aside to enter into a deep reflection on what we wanted to accomplish together and also as separate human beings in the new year.

The reason for deliberately carving out such a long time of preparation was our understanding that New Year’s resolutions as a general rule fall apart very soon after the beginning of the new year.

In fact, there have been many research studies conducted on this practice of making New Year’s resolutions and it seems that only about 8 per cent of them are ever successful in the long term.

Gym instructors have told me that there is always a huge influx of new members in January, but by February or March, there are very noticeably fewer new members working out regularly.

If you don’t give sufficient thought and time to making resolutions they will inevitably fail and this can cause all sorts of negative feelings such as self-disappointment, hopelessness regarding the possibility of change and a feeling of being out of control and directionless, to name a few.

So my partner and I put two days aside. You may not have the luxury of that amount of time or stamina but the point is you will be more than likely one of the 92 per cent who fail to implement their New Year’s resolutions if you don’t set aside some period of time of preparing.

I will outline my approach below.

First step: Meditation/reflection

If you immediately go into planning mode your ideas will most probably be warped by your anxieties and past regrets or experiences. Spend about 20 minutes meditating to clear your mind. By doing this you are also connecting with your inner wisdom and creativity.

Second step: Discovering your core values

After meditating, you now transfer your focus to the contemplation of your core values.

What are core values? Core values are the deepest guiding principles for your life – what you want to stand for; what you hope others see and appreciate about you. You know you have discovered a core value when you feel very excited or enthusiastic about some particular characteristic like standing up for the truth, the love of family and friends or the call of adventure and discovery.

So I invite you now to sit down and discover your own core values. Three to five core values are enough.

So ask yourself what activities bring you the most joy or what couldn’t you live without; what things/pursuits give your life meaning and purpose. The first two steps together provide a powerful meditative and inspirational foundation from which to now choose and develop action plans for your New Year’s resolutions.

Third step: Goals that express your core values

Having identified your core values or deep loves, you are now ready to select concrete goals that will ensure that the pregnant energy within your core values can flow into each goal you select.

So look at each of your core values and ask how you can practically bring into your life the energy of these values. Understandably, as a psychologist, one of my core values is the building of loving relationships.

So the practical question for me was, ‘How can I in the new year build deeper, more loving relationships?’

I divided my relationships into four main categories:

1. The intimate relationship with my partner.

2. The loving relationship with my children.

3. My close friendships.

4. My professional relationship with my clients.

So now I need to focus on the goal I have for each of these four categories.

Fourth step: Developing action plans to achieve chosen goals

Now that you have chosen goals that are the concrete expressions of your core values, you now need to devise detailed action plans that will help you as much as possible to achieve your goals. So I will continue to demonstrate this next step by developing an action plan for nourishing my intimate relationship with my partner. You need to develop action plans for each of the goals that you have chosen.

Good luck planning and keeping your New Year’s resolutions! – Family Medical Practice

*Matthew Ryan is a senior psychologist who has been supporting and assisting people to work through their personal and relational problems, for more than 30 years. As a couple’s and family psychologist, Matthew’s role is to help each person in the relationship see how they contribute to their dysfunctional ways of relating and what changes are necessary to resolve their difficulties. Matthew is also experienced in working with teenage males and females as they face the challenges of stepping into young adulthood. In addition, Matthew is experienced in providing counselling to people from the LGBT community.       

Family Medical Practice was the first foreign-owned primary healthcare provider in Việt Nam, and has consistently remained at the forefront of international-standard medicine since 1995. It offers extensive healthcare and emergency medical services nationwide to Vietnamese, expatriate and corporate customers.

For more advice on any medical topics, visit  https://www.vietnammedicalpractice.com; or visit our clinics:

Family Medical Practice Hanoi on 298 I Kim Mã Street, Ba Đình District or call (024) 3843 0748. Email: [email protected]

FMP’s downtown HCM City location is at Diamond Plaza, 34 Lê Duẩn Street, District 1; Other facilities are at: 95 Thảo Điền Street, District 2. Tel: (028) 38227848. E: [email protected]

FMP Danang is located at 96-98 Nguyễn Văn Linh Street, Hải Châu District, Đà Nẵng. Tel: (0236) 3582 699. E: [email protected]

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/life-style/858081/how-to-plan-and-keep-new-year-resolutions.html

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HCM City unveils proposed design for Tết Flower Street

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Images of buffaloes will be put up at the entrance to the Flower Street from February 9 to 15 at Nguyễn Huệ Street, District 1. Photo courtesy of Saigontourist

HCM CITY — The HCM City administration has unveiled a draft design for the 18th annual Nguyễn Huệ Flower Street to celebrate the coming Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Rural life featuring rice farming and buffaloes will be the theme for this year, the Year of the Buffalo, according to eastern zodiac.

Every year Nguyễn Huệ Street in District 1, which has a pedestrians-only square down its middle, transforms into a ‘flower street’ during Lunar New Year.

This year it will be open from February 9 to 15, with the decorations starting on January 25, according to the organisers.

Like in previous years environment-friendly materials will be used for the decorations.

According to organisers, the organic design and architecture this year would aim to send the message of environmental protection.

To usher in the Year of the Buffalo, most of the event’s concepts and decorations will pay homage to the animal, with 26 mascots being set up along the street.

The entrance will feature a family of movable buffaloes display.

The organisers said the street would have a more innovative layout than previous years, which would allow smoother traffic flow.

The annual flower show, which highlights the Tết culture, has become hugely popular and attracts more than a million visitors a year.

There are also other annual flower festivals and markets during the Lunar New Year.

There will be flower market in three major parks, September 23, Gia Định and Lê Văn Tám, while flowers will be sold at 174 spots across the city from February 4 to 11.

A flower market will be set up along Trần Xuân Soạn Street in District 7 from January 27 to February 11. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/life-style/858080/hcm-city-unveils-proposed-design-for-tet-flower-street.html

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