I had heard the stories of talented tailors in the beautiful, lantern-lit town of Hoi An on Vietnam’s coast. They can copy your favourite dress down to the very last detail in a day, I was told. But when I was there last month what surprised me were the chic clothing shops, where high-quality finish and finesse are woven with indigenous design elements to striking effect. Metiseko is one such example; I popped in out of interest and popped out with several of its gorgeous screen-printed garments.
Metiseko, I learnt, was launched in 2011 by French-Vietnamese entrepreneur Erwan Perzo and his French pattern designer wife Florence Mussou, creating cosmopolitan clothing, accessories and even soft furnishings, all stamped with an unmistakeable “Made in Vietnam” identity. At the heart of the brand are Mussou’s delightful prints inspired by the country’s landscapes and traditions – from blooming lotuses and bamboo to grains of red rice and blue lanterns. These are then screen-printed by hand onto natural high-end twill, Shantung and Habutai silk (which is locally produced and woven in the central highlands of Vietnam) or organic cotton fabric from India.
Inside the old-town Hoi An store – actually two shops side by side; one for silk, one for cotton – I quickly tracked down the crisp-looking, sleeveless white cotton shirt ($64) in a geometric red rice print that I had seen in the window, then continued to browse the large, dark wood-dominated space, centred around a plant-filled courtyard, and its broad selection of men’s and women’s clothing. A blue short-sleeved, slightly cropped top ($52) with buttons down the back in an organic Halong scale print was added to my haul, alongside a pair of trousers ($87) in that same rice print. And that’s just from the cotton side of things. I didn’t have time to fully take in Metiseko’s silk offering, but luckily the entire range can be purchased online, where I have been eyeing up a flowing silk crepe maxi dress ($213) in the leafy two-tone grey Lush Jungle print and a jade-green silk twill blouse ($148) adorned with dragonflies. And as for the handmade silk quilts ($893) – they are just exquisite.