This past week in class, we learned about Hmong textiles and fashion. Coincidentally, while reading about Ava's article "Speaking Through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Arts," I had my Hmong clothes here in Davis with me. Eva talked about Hmong clothes in relations to the Hmong New Year and ball tossing. This year, I am excited about the Hmong New Years and my new clothes that my mom made for me. In the Hmong culture, fashion is decided by the women who decides what's beautiful and what they'd like to see their children wear. My mom sews me 1-2 new outfits a year. Recently, there are many Hmong women who hardly sew anymore, but fortunately, my mother still does. As a young Hmong girl, I love my cultural clothing. I choose the fabric, color, and design I would like, and my mom sews it for me. Many Hmong girls today don't have the luxury of designing their own Hmong clothes.
*I can't upload the video onto here.
Like these Hmong designers, some Hmong girls today are able to design their own Hmong clothing. Many times, American clothing are incorporated into Hmong cultural clothing.
Today, Hmong clothes have become so different from one another. The Hmong New Year is almost like the Fashion Week in Paris, but for the Hmong community. I've had many Hmong designers approach me and my cousins to take a photo of our clothing. Many Hmong designers constantly walk the lot of the Hmong New Year to find inspiration to their next designs.
As the Hmong New Year comes and goes throughout California, I am excited to be able to wear my Hmong clothes and not have to think about buying new clothes.
Ava L. McCall. Speaking through Cloth: Teaching Hmong History and Culture through Textile Arts.” Reader.