Victoria's Secret model Josephine Skriver comes close to a wardrobe malfunction in a Cong Tri iridescent pink gown. (Photo by Cong Tri)
Cong Tri silver gown with angel wing shoulder detail (Photo by Cong Tri)
Cong Tri led off his first New York runway show with a glittery yellow gown. Actress Kate Bosworth wore the gown to the Vanity Fair Oscar party. (Photo by Cong Tri)
Cong Tri (Photo by Cong Tri)
Victoria's Secret model Shanina Shaik comes down the runway in a revealing bow-shaped dress. (Photo by Cong Tri)
Cong Tri black rose patterned evening gown is created from Lanh My A silk, a rare lacquered natural fabric made in the southern Vietnamese province of An Giang. (Photo by Cong Tri)
Cong Tri black minidress with pink wrap detail (Photo by Cong Tri)
NEW YORK — As the first designer based in Vietnam to show a collection at New York Fashion Week, Nguyen Cong Tri was determined to make a splash. The 41-year-old designer, whose Cong Tri atelier and boutique are in Ho Chin Minh City, enlisted several current and former Victoria’s Secret models, including Jasmine Sanders, Shanina Shaik, Josephine Skriver, Lais Ribeiro and Jasmine Tookes, to showcase his sparkly looks on the New York catwalk.
Even before reaching America, Tri has had some celebrity success. He outfitted Katy Perry in a leopard-print jumpsuit and several other outfits for her “Witness” tour, and Rihanna wore one of his oversized white shirt dresses with gargantuan sleeves after her stylist saw his work on vogue.com.
Tri continued his celebrity fascination at fashion week by creating a collection that reflects his view of what a Hollywood star would want to wear, with lots of super-short metallic mini-dresses and sequined gowns with plunging necklines, deep slits and glittery bows.
“All women dream to be a like a superstar,” he said backstage through an interpreter after the show.
Tri opened with a lovely sunburst sequined high-necked gown that actress Kate Bosworth wore to the Vanity Fair Oscar party at few weeks later. And towards the end, he featured a host of Game of Thrones-like silver gowns with pointed shoulders.
However, there were some fit issues as several of the bustier models seemed to nearly fall out of the sparkly gowns, although there were no overt wardrobe malfunctions.
Tri was more successful when he racheted down the glitz factor, particularly with a couple of evening gowns with rose flower folds that looked like they were made of soft leather but actually were created from Lanh My A silk, a rare lacquered natural fabric made in the southern Vietnamese province of An Giang.
Tri is among a growing number of Asian designers to show their collections at New York Fashion Week, taking up slots on the roster previously occupied by American designers who either have opted to show in Paris or Milan or decided to look to new ways to showcase their collections as the fashion industry retools in the wake of the online revolution.
The designer admitted he was a bit nervous about showing in New York for the first time, but felt like he had achieved a “big step” with the collection.
He added that the fashion scene in Ho Chi Minh City is thriving. “We have a lot of stars in the fashion industry in Vietnam,” he said. “It is very exciting.”