BY BLING | PURSUING AN INTEREST IN FASHION WITHOUT FORMAL EDUCATION
Bang Linh, to me, is someone special. As the ambassador of LaMode (2017-18), she is one of the first people to walk me through my fashion journey. As a perfectionist and detail-oriented person, I still remember how she conscientiously commented on each of my early designs, always lending a helping hand and constructive criticism so I can improve. At the present, Bang Linh is a Gen Z Youtuber on Fashion and Lifestyle that many youngsters are familiar with. Bang Linh and I conducted a small interview to share personal experiences as well as her views on fashion.
When did you first become infatuated with fashion?
I have loved fashion since I was a small kid. My mother used to take care of me little by little with the clothes I wear, from my hairpins to my dolls’ shoes. Perhaps, since then, I became aware of the notion of beauty and was infatuated by it. In high school, I was very lucky to join the LaMode Club of Hanoi Amsterdam, from a member of the design team to being the ambassador of the Club.
Being a part of the club for such a long time, what was the most important thing that you learnt from LaMode?
LaMode brought me many experiences that shaped who I am today. But what I am most grateful for is the mindset of “dare to think, dare to do”. Before joining LaMode, I never had the experience of being a designer, stylist, or organizing a fashion event, making a stage, directing a catwalk… But LaMode gave me the opportunity to do everything, which honestly felt overwhelming at first - perhaps I wasn’t at my peak yet but they were still memorable and precious. From this mindset also birthed my YouTube channel “By Bling”.
Working with LaMode is probably the moment I realized how much I loved fashion. Those are days where heat waves went up to 39 degrees celsius, but I still placed myself in bustling and crowded markets to pick out fabric for every single piece. There are also long days where I designed stadiums, catwalk paths to create my “Awakening” show with an audience of over 1000.
After the success of “Awakening”, perhaps you have had your share of trials and tribulations. Can you share a particular example where you were faced with a great challenge while organizing fashion shows?
It definitely was working with other adults that proved most difficult. Because I was merely a high school student, collaborating with brands and guests will bring itself barriers. However, I still feel blessed because we still received a lot of help from them. They helped us not for profit incentives, but because they saw our dedication and passion for fashion.
Towards the end of grade 12, with a love for fashion that was so obvious it cannot be concealed, I started to choose my school and major for the years to come. After a while of considering and weighing the benefits, I chose economics instead of fashion. Everyone was shocked and asked me why I didn’t take the latter instead.
But to me, loving fashion does not mean I have to make a career out of it. Everyone loves in a different way, do they not? As well as being a Business Administration student, I am also a YouTuber who talks about fashion and life (By Bling). Deciding not to study fashion anymore, I made up for it by setting up a YouTube channel to discuss it everyday. For that, my love for fashion has never once dwindled.
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to study fashion in university?
Great question, I have recently thought about this topic as well. If I were to study fashion then it would definitely be a life ruled by passion and “fabric-based”. Perhaps I will be more familiar with people in fashion and study things I am deeply interested in (though my current major is interesting no less). But if I studied fashion then I may not become a YouTuber like I am today. So, I do not regret my decisions and I will still inquire into fashion instead of forgoing my curiosity simply because my major is different.
Do you have any advice for people who want to pursue fashion but chose different majors?
Fashion is not restricted to school, corporations or catwalk shows, but it appears in the world around us. Simple questions such as today’s wear and what to shop, that is your connection to fashion. If there are others like me who are into fashion but chose a different major, you can have different ways to indulge in your passions: create a fashion YouTube, post your outfits… Especially in the age of social media, we have more opportunities to explore our interests.