Khamphian Vang is first and foremost an artist. Experimenting with a variety of art forms has led to her medium of choice, fabric. Her love of fabric started at an early age while watching her grandmother and mother sew paj ntaub, or flower cloth, which is a traditional Hmong textile art form. She loves the process of draping and manipulating the fabric. She works very organically, getting her inspiration from how the fabric behaves. Her background is in Theatre Arts & Costume Design where she learned to design with a purpose. Khamphian believes fashion is about personal style and individualism – “Each of us is a character. The clothes we wear reflect who we are and the life we lead.”
All the world’s a stage,
And all men and women merely players:
They have their exits and entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.
-William Shakespeare, As You Like It
Khamphian’s design vision focuses on comfort and ease without sacrificing style. She designs clothing based on how real women dress for their real, moving lives. “Fashion is our journey in clothes; it takes us through one stage of life to the next.” She designs for the woman that is versatile and embraces the duality of fashion and style, feminine/masculine, vintage/modern, soft/structured, varying textures and prints. In her Spring 2011 collection, she brings these ideals to life in bright and patterned pieces inspired by one of her favorite artists, Frida Kahlo: