Silk is one of my favorite types of fabrics to wear growing up. I grew up in Vietnam and had to wear Ao Dai (the white long dress with slits and pants aka traditional Vietnamese outfit) as uniform in highschool. For reference, it looks something like, this. We handwashed our clothes majority of the time and let them air dried and sun dried (literally hung outdoors to dry!) I remembered as much as I loved my silk Ao Dai, it would be the one that got ruined first compared to my other satin or cotton blend ones.
Silk is a natural type of fabric. The best known silk is obtained from the cocoons of the larvae (mulberry silk worms). Due to the triangular prism-like structure of the silk fibre, it gives silk its shimmering and light-reflecting apperance. Fun facts, silk production also occurs in bees, wasps, ants, and many insects such as spiders. Another fun fact and not to be surprised by is that China is silk’s birthplace. In the ancient time, silk was found in tombs, used as gifts and luxury fabrics due to its textureand lustre. Later, its popularity as trade spreaded across all continents.
Taken all knowledge from the internet and my own experience in wearing silk, I’ve developed the obsession with silk quite a long time ago. I used to help out at my aunt’s tailoring shop back when I lived in Minnesota and learnt tips and tricks in sewing and handling silk. Silk fabric is very delicate and high maintenance type of fabric. It is best to hand wash and laid flat in an open area to dry, so do not throw silk into the wash and dry! And the less time you wash or have silk in contact with water, the better! Silk fibroin is held together by Hydrogen bonds, and if you remember what your teacher has taught you in college, heat will break those bonds and ruin your silk piece. So avoid excessive heat! Lightly iron your silk piece with another piece of thin fabric in between or set it at super low heat!
Silk, in fact, has become extremely popular in the U.S. in recent years. Many have found its benefits and start to incorporate silk into clothings, pillowcases, beddings, and biomaterials etc. Expect to pay more for silk since it takes longer time to cultivate and produce. It is so delicate that only skillful hands can be able to sew silk correctly. So if you’re feeling fancy, invest in one of these silk pillowcases for you and loved ones as gifts! They are guaranteed to give you beauty sleep, anti-crease, anti-aging. and anti-bedhead. I’ve bought this one on Amazon for a fraction of a price, and it did not compare.
Here I am wearing the 1996 Zodiac dress from the Instagram famous brand, Realisation Par. They’re based in Australia but have their stuff made in China. They create their own prints and have very unique and stand out silk tops, dresses, and skirts. They launch new designs or prints occasionally and not on a seasonal basis which I love. I’ve made 2 orders from them before and returned my very first one, and you can read more about it, here. Basically, those did not fit me properly as the dress with the side hidden zipper that wouldn’t lay flat, and that was clearly due to the construction and sewing error. I bought this Zodiac dress immediately when it was restocked! I thought the gold embroidery of the sun, star, and all Zodiac signs made it extra special compared to other printed silk pieces that Real has done. I love that this is a slip dress, so its fit can be loose and very forgiving! It doesn’t fit me perfectly (I ordered size XS in all Real pieces by the way!), but I don’t mind it since I love everything else about this dress so much: its midi length, its navy color, its Zodiac embroidery details, its adjustable spaghetti straps, its V-neck, and the fact that it’s made from silk, my favorite fabric! I’ve styled it with a structured black blazer, a pair of gold circle earrings, simple black sandals and the matching black bag. And I’m obsessed with all the vintage-y elements. It’s such a classic pairing! Love!
dress REALISATION PAR
bag KOZHA NUMBERS
heels ENZO ANGIOLINI (very old, on sale at Nordstrom Rack)
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Photos by Toan Chu Photography