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SS17: Vietnam & Cambodia

SS17: Inspired by Vietnam & Cambodia 1

The Spring Summer 2017 collection is inspired by the incredible trip I took last April to Vietnam & Cambodia (read all about it here!)

I traveled with my then boyfriend (now, fiancé!) to Hong Kong, then on to Vietnam (Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Con Dao, and Ho Chi Minh City) with a few days stopover in Cambodia (Siem Reap)…

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Aboard the Dragon's Pearl Junk Boat in Ha Long Bay. Our cabin was teak paneled and there was such beautiful detail throughout the boat - a real highlight!
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Wearing my favorite vacation dress (it's the Loup Charmant Hydra) on the desolate beaches of Con Dao. We took long stand up paddle board rides during sunset here.
Our travels took us from Angkor Wat - the extraordinary Buddhist Temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia - to the desolate beaches of Con Dao in the South China Sea.
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The Am Lan on The Saigon River - Just a speedboat ride from downtown!
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The "lifeguard" stand on Con Dao island's (empty) beachfront.
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I fell in love with the colors of the fishing boats in the South China Sea
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How good is this storefront? So many great colors and hidden gems in Hanoi.
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Peter is 6'4" and is dwarfed by the spectacular ruins at Angkor Wat.
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Local merchants sell beautiful flowers throughout Hanoi. Check out how big their bike baskets are!
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Ta Prohm Temple in Cambodia - this is where Tomb Raider was filmed.
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This is a burial site in Cambodia that we visited during our bike tour.
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The sky and the ocean merge into one in Con Dao - I could have stayed for months!

The collection that emerged after this trip reflects the varied scenery that we experienced. Some pieces are sleek and clean (I was thinking of the great sea around Con Dao and the grand karsts in Ha Long Bay) and some pieces are ornate, layered with silk flowers and small beads (my take on the temples, in particular Ta Prohm which features a spectacular 13th century Buddhist Monastery under layers of jungle growth):

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Cambodia Column Earrings & Angkor Wat at Sunrise
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Vietnam Garden Collar & Ta Prohm Temple
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Central Market Collar & A Buddhist Grave Site in Siem Reap
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Lotus Earrings & Flowers for Sale in Hanoi
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Temple Earrings & The Spectacular Sunrise over Angkor Wat
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Regal Pendant Collar & Fishing Boats in The South China Sea
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Sailor Necklace & The Dragon's Pearl Junk Boat in Ha Long Bay
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Divine Eye Earrings & Angkor Wat Silhouetted by the Sun
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Cambodia Jungle Hoops & Bright Fruit for Sale in Siem Reap
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Anastasia Necklace & Carvings on Cambodia's Buddhist Temples
This trip was the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation. I loved exploring ruins one day and hanging out on beaches the next...

Our Itinerary: The Rundown on Where We Went & Where We Stayed

Hong Kong: Grand Hyatt (don’t skip the brunch!)

Hanoi, Vietnam: Sofitel Legend Metropole (check out the hallways lined with B+W photos of their most famous guests)

Ha Long Bay & Bai Tu Long Bay, Vietnam: Dragon Pearl’s Junk Boat (c/o Indochina Junk Company)

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Belmond La Residence D’Angkor

Con Dao, Vietnam: Six Senses Con Dao

Saigon River: An Lam Saigon (Just a Speedboat Away From Downtown!)

Ho Chi Minh City: Park Hyatt Saigon

And Finally: Hot Tips for The Trip!

You need a visa for Cambodia, but you can get it upon entry at the airport. It’s really helpful to have cash (USD) and extra passport photos on you.

If you’re going to splurge, do it at Six Senses Con Dao. It’s truly paradise: A chic resort on a beautiful island in the middle of the sea.

When touring Ha Long Bay (Vietnam) find a boat company that will take you into the less touristy (and less polluted) Bai Tu Long Bay  – it’s way more serene and you can even kayak around the karsts.

What are karsts? These are the huge rock formations sticking out of the water in Ha Long Bay. They make for some seriously great photos!

If trying to track down the best pho … I highly recommend Pho Thin in Hanoi. Go for breakfast like the locals do.

If trying to track down the best tailor … Dung Tailors in Ho Chi Minh City is a must visit. They re-created my favorite blazer (by The Row) for about a tenth of the price in a beautiful linen. My only regret? Not ordering more.

When visiting Angkor Wat … Ask your tour guide to bring you to the back entrance. There are fewer people and you can actually see the sun rising over the temple. You beat the crowds when you enter from this direction.

Wildcard Day? We took a bike tour through Cambodia’s countryside with Grasshopper Adventures. We visited rice paddies (inhabited by water buffalo), a local market, and dusty coffee shops scattered between villages. Make sure you find yourself a Cambodian Donut at a market. They’re insane.

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Till next time Southeast Asia!
I can’t wait to return to this beautiful part of the world. Thank you for inspiring my favorite collection.

XX,
LF

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