Bach Mai Spring Summer 2024 collection fashion show at New York Fashion Week SS24 (September 12, 2023).
Bach Mai made an unforgettable debut with his Spring Summer 2024 collection, titled "Atlas Crossing the River Styx": The show garnered the support of A-list celebrities such as Kate Beckinsale, Misty Copeland, Sherry Cola, and "Wednesday" actress Joy Sunday, showcasing the designer's meteoric rise in the world of couture and red carpet dressing.
However, the glitz and glamour of the runway were overshadowed by a deeply personal and emotional motivation. Bach Mai, a Houston-born designer with a lifelong passion for fashion, revealed that his first runway show was not only a testament to his success but also a heartfelt tribute to his late father, who had been his biggest fan and supporter throughout his journey.
Speaking backstage with tears in his eyes, Mai shared, "I didn't expect to do a runway show so soon, but my father passed away, and I felt like I needed to honor him and how much he supported me. I wanted to treat it as guiding him to the next life, so a lot of it is about memorialization of gesture, so you see garments frozen, a jacket as if the hands are in the pockets but they are not, or you scrunched up a skirt to get out of a car, or Cinderella is running down the steps…the clothes have been frozen as an artifact of humanity."
In a touching tribute to his roots and cultural heritage, Mai unveiled a stunning black and lace embroidered version of the ao dai, the traditional Vietnamese national dress, reimagined as a silk tunic and pants. This inclusion highlighted Mai's connection to his heritage and added a profound layer of cultural significance to his collection.
Among the standout pieces in the Spring Summer 2024 collection was a lovely red sleeveless shirred shift dress cinched into a black ribbon at the chest, exuding dark romanticism. Another showstopper was a blush tulle, off-the-shoulder corset gown with red carpet appeal, showcasing the designer's impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail.
Not forgetting his working-class roots, where his father toiled in a refinery for most of his life, Mai incorporated elements of utility and practicality into his designs. A black polyurethane-coated vest and pleated skirt set, white cargo pants paired with a flowing floral tunic, and a silk cotton blurred floral jumper with overall shoulder straps all paid homage to the essence of everyday urban wardrobing.
Mai explained, "We wanted to show we're not just an eveningwear brand," emphasizing his commitment to creating fashion that is not only visually striking but also practical and versatile for women from all walks of life.
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