The Rising

For designer Thuy Diep, the third time is a charm. By Dena Smolek
The passing of a calendar year can mean either being buried beneath the look-books of even newer newbies, or, more hopefully, piquing a bit of interest due to not just one great collection, but another…and another. Such is the case with Thuy, designed and launched just last year by Vietnam-born designer Thuy Diep, who recently debuted a fall 2008 collection with a notable sense of purpose.
"Developing fall '08 was a special experience for me," the NYC-based designer says. "Rather than focus on a specific or literal element for inspiration, I started by returning to what I personally love to wear, and what I want in my own closet." Diep, who was temporarily sidetracked from her design destiny by a brief gig as a consultant for Price Waterhouse, studied at Parsons and hails from a long line of family tailors. Not surprisingly, her fall collection exhibits various twists with the craft (ie: long sharp lapels and modern neatly cut pants), but it's the careful juxtaposition of colors, textures, and interesting new shapes that give Thuy's pieces a marked liveliness.
"I like to incorporate architectural forms and lines as well as contrasts,"she says. "For fall, I wanted to highlight this through layering and asymmetry and working with bold colors versus neutrals." She also played sheer fabrics against opaques and designed vibrant gloves to punctuate each look in a different way. Among our favorites: the asymmetric wool wrap coat (both dramatic and practical), as well as any one of the designer's beautifully draped skirts in various autumnal colors or prints.
While many of Thuy's best designs highlight her deftness with tailoring or subtle proportion, her easy-to-wear separates also reveal a personal connection to the process, something the wearer is likely to pick up on. "Taking a more organic approach has allowed me to step outside of all the pressures of the business and enjoy the process more," she says. "My past two collections have included subtler design elements, but this one shows an emphasis on strong lines. I think it's reflective in a broader, more confident collection." We couldn't agree more.
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For designer Thuy Diep, the third time is a charm.

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