I grew up in Vietnam and had to wear all white Áo dài as uniform all throughout 3 years of highschool. It’s the national costume of Vietnam, symbolizing elegance and beauty. Vietnamese women wear Ao dai on special occassions, and some schools make girls wear Ao Dai as uniform. It’s a hassle on hot humid days, and imagine how careful we all have to be wearing an all white outfit during our period. I remember as much as I love my silk Áo dài and the way it fits on my body, it would be the one that got ruined first compared to my other satin or cotton blend ones.
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 love learning about fabrics and materials, especially how things are made and who make them.
I used to help out at my aunt’s tailoring shop back when I lived in Minnesota and learnt a few tips and tricks in sewing and handling silk. It is best to hand wash and laid flat in an open area to dry. You can hang it sideway on a hanger and flip or rotate to the other side.
Absolutely do not throw silk into the wash and dry! 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 pieceS. So avoid excessive heat! Steam or lightly iron your silk piece with another piece of thin fabric in between or set your iron a silk setting or at super low heat!
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.
They’re based in Australia but have their stuff made in China. I love that Realisation Par creates their own prints and have very unique and stand out silk tops, dresses, and skirts.
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!
***UPDATE: June 25, 2020: I have not washed any of my Realisation Par pieces at this point. Silk is light, thing, and breathable, and I never sweat profusely in them. This embroidered Zodiac dress gets a bit more wrinkly than my other plain Real pieces regardless of how hard I try to steam it, but that is fine with me.
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)
SHOP THIS POST
Photos by Toan Chu Photography