Travel, nostalgia, joy, and sophisticated modernity define Hanh Merriman’s spring 2019 collection. Drawing inspiration from her Vietnamese roots, Merriman introduces handmade silks like the ones she grew up wearing into this collection. Silk products have long been a distinctive feature of Vietnamese culture, and Merriman wants the women who wear her clothes to feel a connection to the beauty of her home country. Exploring her identity as a Vietnamese American, Merriman brings together East and West, past and future, traditional and modern; sculptural details such as structured shoulders and the use of fluid materials and draping elements mirrors this. These seemingly opposite elements coexist in her designs and result in a collection that is strong yet delicate, sophisticated yet playful, bold yet minimal.
Merriman incorporates joy and happiness into this collection by using a symbolic pattern, that of the crane, or the “bird of happiness”. The crane’s beauty and mating dances have made them symbolic in many cultures, dating back to ancient times. Merriman’s use of these beautiful birds in her collection speaks to the way she wants the women who wear her clothes to feel; beautiful, confident, and joyous. Merriman’s incorporation of this ancient and enduring symbol, as well as details such as draping, asymmetry, and creation of negative space, is another way she expertly brings together the old and the new, the traditional and the modern. Women who wear her clothes will feel a connection to a timeless and elegant culture that represents happiness, confidence and beauty. With her Spring 2019 collection, Merriman has pieces that gives all women the opportunity to find their own definition of beauty and confidence, regardless of traditional rules, which is the hallmark of the modern and empowered woman.