Page 1

book two

the beauty of tradition in a modernized world henry nguyen


design&concepts the pattern


pattern development 04 abstraction 06 colour 06 ochna integerrima 07 stacking 08 dotted 09 Stacking 10 improved 11 final pattern 11

two knots 34 various knot explorations 36 final logo 37

carp to dragon circular scales oval scales

13 14 15

the fashion clothing development 17 clothing 17 first piece: Jumpsuit 17 frontal view 18 side view 19 back view 19

the logo logo development 20 straw identity 20 true lovers knot 21 knot 21 binding knot 21 brainstorming 22 knot attributes 24 straw hat 26 thought process 27 weaving 28 thought process 28 double/infinity sign the infinity sign the double infinity sign.

30 30 30

final font font explorations colour palette primary colour secondary colours


38 39 40 40 40

the website website 50 online lookbook 53 lookbook 56 concept 56 colour narrative 58 white as a tool for ease 59 side panels 60

the photography photography 43 lookbook: studio shoot 43 lookbook: outdoor shoot 46

the packaging element of surprise


optical illusion thought process

64 64

colour reveal:box 66 colour reveal:brand tags 70 narrative 72 design breakdown 73 narrative: brand tags 76


pattern textiles development create pattern development pattern is a very important component for Straw. Creating a modern pattern using traditional and symbolic textiles of Vietnamese culture is the key role in portraying the brand values that Straw pertains.



abstraction The concept for the pattern is to use the idea of abstraction. Abstraction is a technique that is not common in Vietnamese prints. Often times, they are elegantly placed on the garment, a very traditional approach. The idea of implementing new techniques on a traditional garment is a beneficial step to the modernization of traditional Vietnamese prints.

colour When it comes to Vietnamese fashion and traditional dresses, there are wide spectrums of colours that are used, ranging from beautiful pastels to bold vibrate colours. The abundance of colours is used to symbolize different personalities, uses, and emotions. In order to stray away from traditional formalities of Vietnamese patterns, I will omit the use of colour in my designs. Bright vibrant colours are considered beautiful and elegant in Vietnamese culture. I want to contrast this traditional eastern preference with that more of western ideals of simplicity and elegance: the use of black. I feel that this is an ideal approach to the modernization of Vietnamese patterns. As black is not often used, it is a bold and unpredictable move.


ochna integerrima


The first pattern is to use the form of an ochna integerrima flower to generate a pattern. This flower has good symbolism in Vietnamese culture, depicting happiness and family. This flower is often displayed and showcased during lunar New Year to welcome the year with happiness. The symbolism behind this flower is able to play a strong role in the brand.

simplified ochna integerrima form 9

stacking The concept for this pattern was to tessellate the form of the flower. The continuous tessellation allows the sole form of the flower to become a fundamental element in a new ambiguous pattern. The larger the print gets, the more illusion of a more abstract pattern becomes apparent.


dotted The concept for this pattern was to create abstraction through focal distance. The further one is away from the fabric, the denser the pattern becomes. The flowers become small dots, where one is not able to tell that they are actually flowers. As one approaches, the dense dot pattern reveals itself as a pattern of flowers.


stacking The stacking pattern was chosen as the strongest and most interesting technique. However, the pattern at the time was not easily recognizable as a flower, when asked of from viewers. Trying to find a way to make the base form recognizable as a flower, I went back and adjusted to form to be more graceful and elegant, fine-tuning it with detail.


Improved The form of the flower was simplified and detailed in a way that made it easily interpreted as an elegant and fragile object. One of the final patterns to be printed onto fabric and made into garments.

} final pattern This is one of the patterns that I will be using for Straw’s clothing line.



carp to dragon This concept is drawn from the story of the carp turning into a dragon. I wanted to create a dragon like scale pattern for this brand because the narrative portrays a dragon as a creature, symbolic of positive synergy.


The tale of the carp and dragon is a great metaphor for my brand; the carp transforms into a dragon. Similar to the tale, my brand concerns the idea of taking a sometimes not appreciated aspect of culture, and transforming it into something new, something present and liked by all.


circular scales Circular shapes are organized in a way to mimic the effect of carps’ scales. This exploration was considered unsuitable to my brand because the circular form could have been interpreted in many ways, such as polka dots. It depicted a more adolescent vibe, a characteristic that is not geared to my more mature and sophisticated clientele.


oval scales These oval shapes represent a more realistic approach to carp scales. The tonal value represents the metamorphosis from carp scales to dragon scales. The dark scales differ from the other ones, as it is representative of dark, mud coloured scales of carp. The composition thus shows a contrast between the scales of a carp, and that of a dragon.



clothing development To fully communicate my vision on the brand, it is only natural that I construct the clothes myself. This realization resulted in me having to learn techniques of garment fabrication, in a short period of time: the technique of sewing. With the help of my friend Helen Tran, a fashion design major, I was able to learn fast and efficient methods of clothing construction and detailing. These are some thoughts and processes behind the decision to construct and design the clothing myself.

clothing I want the garments to reflect Vietnamese culture through its form and fit, its colour and its patterns. I want each piece to reflect all of these attributes yet still have a modern twist to them.

First piece: Jumpsuit The form of the Vietnamese long dress inspired this first piece. I wanted to mimic the back and frontal flaps of the jumpsuit, and to do so I added a sheer strip on the pant to give it an illusion of it having back and frontal flaps. I used black to inform the modern elegance.


Jumpsuit in muslin Jumpsuit constructed in muslin before cutting on real fabric

Frontal view


Side view the side slit is inspired the Vietnamese long dress.

Back view


logo development After long investigations of the name of the brand, it was only natural to start on creating the brand identity. With all the accumulative research I had obtained from the name development, I hope to be able to what I had learned to inform my direction and process in order to create something unique. Here are some of the trial and errors that were developed through process of finding the right brand identity.

straw + = Straw identity The idea for the logo is to incorporate the knot as a pictorial mark with a word mark. I wanted to use a knot in corporation with the brand identity because Idea of a straw knot depicts a strong imagery of the tight bond between culture and modernism. Which makes the brand feel more cohesive as an overall brand.


word mark

pictorial mark

true lovers knot This knot intrigued me as this knot was named after stories and legends where a knot symbolizes the love between two individuals.

knot To create a brand using the idea of knots, research was conducted in order to try and grasp the many types and forms of knots, and what kind of connotations were behind each.

binding knot Knots the bind two ropes together are considered binding knots. Which I find very interesting and could be used for my logo because my brand is about binding two things together. Boa knot Bottle sling Constrictor knot Corned beef knot Granny knot Ground-line hitch Miller’s knot Packer’s knot Reef knot Strangle knot Surgeon’s knot Thief knot Jamming knot Sheet bend


brainstorming The only way to successfully find the best solution for the brand identity is to really embrace the brainstorming phase which is the most important phase.



straw knot attributes I wanted to create a logo that has knot attributes infused into the word mark to create something unique and attractive. However, it ended up in failure as it looked unappealing and resembled a western cowboy-like theme.












straw hat This idea uses the form and structure of the Vietnamese straw hat as a foundation to create the pictorial logo.


w a

r t s



straw thought process This concept was considered not effective because it became too complicated and it was not easily recognizable as it started to resemble many different objects such as bicycle wheels.


weaving This concept was also inspired by the Vietnamese straw hat but focused more on its interior construction. I wanted to use the weaving characteristic of the straw hat and infuse it into the word mark. The weaving technique can depict strength and unity because the straw materials are coming together to form one structure. This type of attributes is a good metaphor for the straw brand.

thought process This concept was considered not a strong due to the fact that it was too abstract. The weaving technique was not clearly communicated.






straw straw


traw double/infinity sign The infinity sign The idea of the infinite can serve as a possible metaphor for straw as it can represent a limitless connection between fashion and culture. The never ending loop represents the theme of fashion always repeating itself, and ties into how aspects of culture and history always find a way back into present day life, whether it be through a fad, or a tradition.

The double infinity sign. Article: The double infinity symbol naturally represents infinity, but it can also mean several other things. The first idea it can symbolize is the idea of perfection. There are several ways to interpret this. One can ask what can be more perfect than compounded infinity. Another perspective suggests that it is because one is given a limitless amount of space and perhaps time to achieve perfection. Equilibrium is another idea embodied by the double infinity symbol. It is easy to see how two sets of circles intertwined in each other can represent balance, despite the fact that the circles are always depicted as slight off-set each other so that the four circles can clearly be seen. The relationship between a man and a woman and the concept of long and lasting love is also represented by double infinity. One set of circles represents the male and the other the female. Two already complete symbols side by side and with the same meaning are complementing each other. Together, they can show the perfect relationship between a man and a woman, one that is balanced, has mutual meaning, and seeks to be together side by side instead of finding completion in each other.



straw straw





Straw&Infinity I thought this would be great because my brand is about finding balance between tradition and modernism: two entities coming together as one and a midpoint that defines its perfection. With further investigation, this concept was not strong enough for the brand. The infinity circle is an extremely over used symbol and I was not able to take ownership of it. In addition, the infinity circle bares no real connection to a single thread of straw, one, which has a finite start and end. The double infinity, however, had a stronger connection to the brand. I was told to push it further to create something more unique and distinctive, which lead me to synthesize both straw and the double infinity to create something unique and dynamic.


The concepts for these logos were to use the weaving technique found in the creation of Vietnamese straw hats to create the infinity symbol. It creates a unique straw like looking symbol, yet it is still distinguishable as a double infinity. This logo was considered conceptually strong, but was not chosen due to its lack of graphic strength; its delicate and intricate line weight and stroke was not powerful enough to portray my brand. Something with this much detail may be lost or distorted when shrunk down to size for other possible commercial use.













straw 35

Two knots After many failed attempts, the last concept became the most effective and was chosen for the. The concept was to make use of two different entities and bring them together to create a new type of knot. The use of two different colours, representing either tradition or modernism unifies itself in my brand as a sole ambition. They are bound by two knots, which connect the two entities to create a circular form that depict the idea of unity. In many cultures, the form of a circle depicts unity, wholeness, the infinite, the idea of completion, and much more. With the circular form being integrated into the imagery of the knot, a compelling and unique symbol is created that depicts the values of my brand.



straw various knot explorations


final logo


sans serif A sans serif font was chosen because it fits into straw’s personality. Sans serif expresses a more modern and temporary feeling than a serif font.

straw straw straw straw straw straw straw straw straw straw straw straw

Handwriting - Dakota Hoefler Text Impact Implastic InaiMathi Kannada Sangam MN Kino MT Krungthep Letter Gothic Std Lao MN Lucida Console Lucida Handwriting

straw straw straw straw

straw final font Helvetic Neue thin was chosen for the final font for the logo because it was the most elegent and modern sans seref font. It thin yet can retain its form well under small resolution.


Helvetica Neue LT Std thin Helvetica Helvetica Neue Ultralight Helvetica CY

font explorations different types of font were explored to find the most suitable typeface that fully express what Straw is all about.


national flag

colour palette primary colour The primary colour for Straw is black. This is because it keeps it very modern and sheek. Since the brand is really about the mesh of modernism and culture, black is suitable to depict modernism and cultural aspect is represented in the secondary colour.

secondary colours Seconary colours was very simple, the red and yellow was chosen because it was the national colour of vietnam.



C9 M97 Y89 K1 R217 G43 B50 PANTONE P 47-8 U

C2 M12 Y97 K0 R252 G212 B20 PANTONE P 4-8 U


C0 M0 Y0 K100 R0 G0 B0 PANTONE P Process black U



photography Since I am the one creating the garments for my brand, the next step is to find a way to visually portray its splendor to my clientele. The brands perspective and personality need to shine through the garments themselves. Photography seemed like a natural process to bring ‘Straw’ to a visual glory. These photos are crucial in bringing the overall concept of the brand to life as it is the core content that will be used for the website, lookbook and any external prints for the brand. Therefore the photos are required to be of highest quality and portray what the brand is all about.

lookbook: studio photoshoot The first photoshoot was conducted with in studio-based environment. It was all about the garment. The elegant and intricate pattern set onto a more simple and serene backdrop. I wanted to integrate a cultural characteristic by the use of red and yellow as accent colours in my brand.




lookbook: outdoor photoshoot Three outdoor photoshoots were conducted for campaign photos that would be featured in the lookbook and the website. These photoshoots were necessary because I wanted capture the garments with their models in a rather natural setting and atmosphere. This allows for the audience to directly relate themselves to the model dressed in the garments. ‘I can totally see myself wearing this,’ they ponder.

collar dress The concept of this photoshoot was to place the dress in a more natural and realistic environment. This photoshoot was good in depicting the overall lifestyle that ‘Straw’ aspires to embody. Some of the photographs see the Vietnamese straw hat as a physical prop to create the connection with the modernized environment and cultural influence. They may then be able to further unravel the underlying connections between the two: the accessory and the brand.

jumpsuit The concept for this photoshoot was to portray a more elegant side of ‘Straw’. As the gown is usually considered attire for formal occasions, I wanted to capture the gown in a more suitable ambiance, one more formal rather than casual. The direction behind this shoot was that an elegant woman was heading to a formal soiree.

dragon scale t shirt The shirt fall into the same category as the collar dress, therefore the concept will be similar. The t shirt was placed in a similar photography environment to show the lifestyle of the menswear.



online presences sences brand brand y personality style style



website I wanted it to reflect the brand personality in a way that maintained elegance to my brand. The website is designed to be very clean, yet still emit a sense of boldness that the brand carries. In order to achieve this, bold images with full bleed layout were used to really stand out. The website is image heavy to show the personality of the brand. I wanted the pictures to describe the brand themselves, rather than having heavy text describe it for me. Photos are a thousand words, and in this case, I wanted them to tell my story.




online lookbook The concept for the website’s lookbook plays on the same concept of the printed lookbook. Except for it being more interactive. For the printed lookbook the images are placed against each other to create contrast, but for the website, all the user have to do it hover over the image to receive the image that was paired with the garment, vice versa. This is just a different type of execution with the same concept.




lookbook The lookbook is a crucial part in creating the personality of the brand. I want to use the lookbook as a tool that portrays as much character and personality as possible. With this idea in mind, I wanted the lookbook to be like a story telling, to be a narrative that visually portrays an identity. It tries to differ itself from the typical lookbooks that are often seen in the industry.

concept The concept for this lookbook was to create a narrative from the contrasting of photographs between those of Vietnam and those of the garments. In the lookbook, the images are placed side by side on a single spread so that the viewer is able to make a connection between the two images. Using their visual senses, the viewer can then analyze the two images to try and grasp a better understanding of the narrative. The satisfaction that one may be able to achieve after the understanding of such narrative is quite intriguing to my senses.





} narrative colour as theme for narrative Some pages are in black and white, monochromatic, with a hint of colour, as I wanted to use these colours as a narrative device to further enhance the idea of a story telling. Using red as an accent colour gives the audience a way in connecting the two images together. For example, the red in women’s shirt can visually connect to the red found on the models lips. With the colour as a directive tool, the creation of a nice visual flow through eye movement makes pageto-page viewing more comfortable. A narrative is born through this fluid movement, and a sense of coherence is found throughout the book and the brand.


White as a tool for ease Some page layouts show more white space in order to balance the many pages of full-bleed photographs. It is a good way to give the viewer a chance to breathe, and to reflect on all the preceding images. It also creates an element of surprise, allowing one to wonder whether more stunning photographs are to come. If page spreads were constantly repetitive, it becomes easily predictable and a lack of interest begins to develop.


book side panel reveal

Side panels The reason for having the bars of colour on the edges of the page to really emphasize the traditional aspect to the photography. Another purpose was for aesthetics reasons. When the viewer is to flip the pages, a colour read is then revealed like an optical illusion. .


revealed when pages are spread




element of surprise The packaging of these products should reflect the overall theme of the brand. These are some explorations that had been conducted to find the best solution for the brand packaging. Concept The concept of the packaging is to have a modern impression of the brand on the exterior, and a more cultural impression on the interior. Bright and vibrant yellow and red are used to not only embody the culture of Vietnam, but adds an element of fun and surprise as the packaging is open. Through this scheme, I wanted to depict that even though the brand is highly contemporary and modern, the foundation that built to the creation of the brand stems from tradition and culture. The envelope comes from the idea of Li Xi “red envelope’ gifting. Li xi is given during Lunar New Years to children or anyone of a younger than the giver. The purpose of giving Li xi is to congratulate and welcome a new age. It also is given to bring prosper and good luck in the new year.



red filter

optically black

red filter

optical illusion The concept consists of the use of a green filter as a sleeve over the black to create a unique reveal. The optical illusion of black being created by the filter serves as a great metaphor. Once you take the sleeve, the black disappears and the colour red is revealed. This symbolizes the shedding away of the mask of modernity of the brand, revealing a sensible, rich culture and tradition that is the founding basis of the brand.

thought process Although this concept had great potential, I have decided not to investigate on this concept any further. This is because the green is very evident, which causes confusion to Straw’s colour palette. Since green has not been introduce nor will it be part of the colour palette it would confuse the audience.



colour reveal:box The concept for this packaging is to create an elegant exterior, which depicts modernism. Playing on the idea of a small reveal of the red foreshadows what will come when the box is opened. When the lid is removed, more red is further revealed to further depict the idea that the brand is built through the manifestations of bringing tradition and culture into a new age. The content that is housed inside will be revealed, wrapped in a photographic image that further reinforces the idea of modernity being embedded with culture and tradition. The element of contrast between the photography and the garment is coherent to that found in the lookbook and the website, ensuring that my brand is coherent and easily understood in every aspect possible.





colour reveal:brand tags The concept for the brand tags are broken into two components. The string that it uses to attract itself to the garments are made from a Vietnamese straw material that is the very material used to make the Vietnamese straw hat. The reason for this is to create a more traditional aesthetic of Vietnamese culture which also ties into the reasoning of the brand name. The second component of the brand tag is the idea of the vibrant being in interior and the simple and elegance modernism on the outside. This depict the idea of saying that the brand is built with culture and tradition.



narrative For this concept I wanted to create a narrative that tells a story of how the clothes were create by using the idea of layers. The brand is basically built by three layers which is modernism, tradition and culture.

3 layers

modernism tradition culture The first layer is modernism which will be represented by the shopping bag. The second layer is tradition which will be represented by the box that house the garment. The third layer is the photograph that wraps around the garment.

} The story that i am trying to depict is that these garments are created by 3 layers. By slowly shedding the layers to retrieve the garment, one can analyze the different themes and brand values that the brand carries.


design breakdown shopping bag Shopping bag is a plain white bag with vellum side panels. The bag is white because it represents the idea of modernism. The vellum side panel is a type of foreshadowing mechanism of whats to come next. Since the material is translucent, the viewer can slightly see what is housed inside. box After the first layered had been shed, the viewer is then confronted with a box with red side panels. This represents the tradition aspect of the brand. The theme of tradition is represented by the colour red which is the national colour of Vietnam. When opened, the viewer is exposed to the red interior which ends this stage of tradition. Photography The garment that is housed inside the box is wrapped with a photograph of Vietnam. This photograph represents the culture aspect of this narrative. summary To summarized this narrative, the story that I am trying to portray are that all these values are embedded into each garment that is made. These layers that is wrapped around represented the idea that these layers creates these garments. This is a good narrative to not only depict the values of the garment but the brand as a whole.


box development


red filter reveal


narrative: brand tags The final concept that was chosen for the brand tags is parallel to the packaging concept which is the narrative ideology. The brand tags plays on the idea of layers. The brand tags are composed of three layers; outer tags that has the brand logo which represents the modernism, a red translucent paper that represents tradition and a photograph which represents culture. These three layers are then layered together to create a unique effect.



front view

middle layer

back view










Thesis: processbook 2  
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