Matters of Style With Val and Vanda

In anticipation of the latest drop from our in-house label, we quiz co-founders Val and Vanda Heng Vong on their inspirations and style sensibilities.

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  • Can you share some images that you have in mind when designing your collection and tell us a little about them?

    We like subtle colours and spend a lot of time thinking about how to wear them together. The Amber Fort in Jaipur provided the inspiration for most of the colours this season. The way contrasting shades can look harmonious when teamed is interesting and elegant.

    And of course, we have muses!
    The way Diane Keaton layers stripes, English tweed and a dainty print is a timeless and endless combination, it’s all about the balance and the ease.
    Jane Birkin’s daughters Lou Doillon and Charlotte Gainsbourg know how to wear a shirt. They show a certain Parisian insouciance when it comes to dressing that genuinely resonates with us.
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1. The Amber Fort, Jaipur
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2. Diane Keaton
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3. Lou Doillon
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4. Charlotte Gainsbourg
  • Do you think you inherited your sense of style from your parents, or did they pass any other lessons about fashion on to you?

    Our parents dress really well and our mother also paid a lot of attention (probably too much) to what we wore. As teenagers, we’d never dare borrow anything out of her wardrobe but we both borrowed our dad’s cashmere jumpers. We still have them now.
    Our dad especially taught us to appreciate pieces you could wear for many years and won’t succumb to fashion.
    And maybe the most important lesson of all — never overlook your footwear, a well made shoe is an essential.

  • You dress in a way that complements each other but still have your own signature style. Tell us something about your memories of childhood clothing?
    We often wore matching outfits. Our mother hand knitted stunning jumpers for herself and for us and we loved wearing something that was unique and no one else had. From a young age, we knew to appreciate the time and effort spent to make them and we cherished them. They were not trendy or looked like anything our friends were wearing but we didn’t mind, they just felt right.

  • We adore the easy appeal of French Dressing, do you feel your cultural background has influenced how you both dress? 

    Our Parisian upbringing and our Cambodian heritage both influence how we dress, balancing each other out. We were very close to our Cambodian grandmother who used to adorn us with colourful jewels and had traditional silk costumes made for us. At the same time, our mother, who is a born and bred Parisian, would take us to The Puces de Clignancourt to buy double denim outfits.
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  • What do you admire about how other women, and even each other, present themselves?

    We like women who are confident in what they wear. Whatever they choose doesn’t really matter, it is how it is carried that makes all the difference.

    Vanda — My sister always looks elegant, even in trainers and jeans, she has a great allure. I know it’s down to her attention to detail, a ring she’s wearing, the socks she’s chosen but also because she is confident in the pieces she buys.

    Val — You can tell my sister enjoys dressing. Without any specific occasion in mind and most probably on a random weekday, she carefully builds her whole outfit and is not scared to wear fluffy orange shoes with a patterned coat and she will think of what handbag to take and it will all look amazing. She’s not a slacker dresser.

  • Tell us more about your process of getting dressed in the morning, what are you considering and trying to achieve?

    Always check the weather and choose an outfit that will go through various commitments during the day by maybe just upgrading your shoes from flats to heels or changing your coat, adding a scarf, swapping your jewellery. At the end of the day, it’s the details that make the best dressers.
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