Top designer Cong Tri reveals personality through fashion exhibition

The famously reticent fashion designer Nguyen Cong Tri is opening up through an exhibition that starts in HCM City this week.

Top designer Cong Tri reveals personality through fashion exhibition
Nguyen Cong Tri poses with a model wearing a creation in his Collection 10 entitled Em Hoa (Flowery Girl). Photo courtesy of the designer

Entitled Cục Im Lặng (The Silent Cube), the three-day event, from December 27 to 29, will showcase 10 collections Vietnam's top fashion designer created since he first got his start in fashion more than 10 years ago.

“When I started my career as a graphic designer, I set a 10-year plan, under which I would create a collection every year. The purpose of the plan is to challenge myself, to see what I can do. This exhibition is the ‘thesis’ of my first 10-year journey,” Tri, the only Vietnamese member of the Asian Couture Federation, said to reporters in Hanoi recently.

Unlike his stunning, and sophisticated creations worn by world-famous celebrities Beyoncé, Rihanna and Katy Perry, Tri is a modest and tight-lipped man.

“I don’t have the habit to talk much about myself, so, through the exhibition, I would like to invite people to get into my mind to know more about me and my work.”

Top designer Cong Tri reveals personality through fashion exhibition
A creation from Collection 3 entitled Cảm (Feeling) by Nguyen Cong Tri.

To understood the designer’s idea, the exhibition must be viewed in order from Collection 1 to 10, “because they can see how I have ‘grown up’ through each collection”.

Explained the name of the exhibition, the designer said silence also presents the maturity of a man.

“When a man has learnt when he should talk and when he should keep silent, it’s when he has matured,” he said.

"Working in the glittery showbiz industry, instead of being myself affected by gossip, I spend time to work and to learn more to develop myself," he added.

Tri has shaped his own style, which has been inspired much from nature. The distinct Asian features are also seen in his creations. The designer has founded two fashion brands, the haute courture CONG TRI and the ready-to-wear NGUYEN CONG TRI.

“Many people like using tricks and scandals to be known by others, for me, the only way to be recognised is to work hard,” Tri said.

A self-described workaholic, Tri said he has been working about 16 hours a day over the past year.


At the exhibition Cục Im Lặng, alongside the display of Trí’s collection, the event will also unveil artworks created by international and Vietnamese contemporary artists. Each artist has created their art piece inspired by Tri’s collections.

“Since two years ago, I have started preparations for the exhibition by inviting them to join this project. So far, I have been shown the artworks’ sketches, not the real ones yet. All the artists want to keep a bit secret about their works, aiming to offer a surprise to me,” Tri said.

“Each collection reflects my view of a matter at that time,” he added.

Visual artists Ngo Dinh Bao Chau, Truong Cong Tung, Trúc Anh, Tung Monkey, and Lu Yang will unveil their art pieces at Cục Im Lặng.

The line-up of artists also includes fashion photographer Hua Nhu Xuan, contemporary dancer and choreographer Ngo Thanh Phuong, architect VUUV, choreographer Alexander Tu, and movie director and producer Bao Nguyen.

Top designer Cong Tri reveals personality through fashion exhibition
A model present a design from Collection 8, Tiếng Vọng (The Echo) by Nguyen Cong Tri.

“Both my designs and their artworks are result of creativeness. When all of these creations are placed in the same venue, it's like an encounter between me and the artists,” Tri said.

Cube of Silence will take place at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre, 799 Nguyen Van Linh Road, Tan Phu Ward, District 7, from December 27 to 29.

During the exhibition, Tri will also host a talk show with students, hoping to inspire them.

Entrance tickets cost VND200,000, while students get a discount. VNS

Thuy Hang

Designer Cong Tri to make New York Fashion Week return

Designer Cong Tri to make New York Fashion Week return

Vietnamese designer Cong Tri is due to introduce his latest fashion collection during New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020 in the United States, which is slated for September 9.  

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