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Vietnamese designer creates mouth-watering dresses out of traditional sugar-preserved fruits

Sunday, February 11, 2024, 13:26 GMT+7
Vietnamese designer creates mouth-watering dresses out of traditional sugar-preserved fruits
Nguyen Minh Cong has designed a dress crafted from 'mứt dừa hoa' (flower-shaped sugar-preserved coconut ribbons).

A Vietnamese fashion designer has turned mứt Tết, traditional sugar-preserved fruits served during the Lunar New Year festival, into elegant dress illustrations.

The materials used in Nguyen Minh Cong’s collection are the sweet treats his mother made from available fruits in his family garden in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long.

As per his mother, the past Tet celebrations were joyful as the entire family would engage in the bustling preparations of sweet treats for guests who visited their home during the festive season.

“It was tiring but joyful,” Cong quoted his mom. 

Nguyen Minh Cong (centered) holds his 'mứt dừa hoa' dress design ad poses for a photo with his parents during the 2024 Tet holiday. Photo: Supplied

Nguyen Minh Cong (C) holds his 'mứt dừa hoa' dress design ad poses for a photo with his parents during the 2024 Tet holiday. Photo: Supplied

In contemporary times, many opt not to prepare Tet food themselves, finding it more convenient to purchase ready-made items.

However, this year, Cong's mother aimed to revive the joyous tradition of crafting Tet food at home, seeking to recreate those cherished moments.

“As a fashion designer, I want to document these delicacies in my own fashion language,” Cong said. 

A design featuring a mullet dress made using 'mứt chuối ngào' (banana shreds cooked in sugar) and festooned with sesame seeds by Nguyen Minh Cong.

Nguyen Minh Cong showcases a unique design featuring a mullet dress crafted from 'mứt chuối ngào' (banana shreds cooked in sugar) and adorned with sesame seeds.

The mứt Tết collection is a continuation of Cong's earlier viral collection, which incorporated southern Vietnamese specialty cakes such as bánh xèo (Vietnamese pancakes), bánh da lợn (steamed layer cakes), and bánh bèo (steamed rice pancakes) in 2021.

Cong has future plans to showcase five of his designs inspired by southern Vietnamese specialty cakes at a festival celebrating southern folk cakes in 2024.

However, Cong said the 2024 mứt Tết collection was harder to make than the 2021 edition. 

Mứt, being rich in sugar, possesses a firm and crispy texture, presenting a challenge when attempting to bend and create curves in the material,” Cong explained.

“In addition, each piece of mứt is hard to be attached together.”

A design is made out of 'mứt gừng dẻo' (ginger shreds cooked in sugar) by Nguyen Minh Cong.

A design is made out of 'mứt gừng dẻo' (ginger shreds cooked in sugar) by Nguyen Minh Cong.

A design features a dress made from 'mứt chùm ruột' (sugar-preserved star gooseberries) by Nguyen Minh Cong.

A design features a dress made of 'mứt chùm ruột' (sugar-preserved star gooseberries) by Nguyen Minh Cong.

A dress design is made using 'mứt tắc' (sugar-preserved kumquats) by Nguyen Minh Cong.

A dress design is made using 'mứt tắc' (sugar-preserved kumquats) by Nguyen Minh Cong.

A dress is made out of roasted watermelon seeds by Nguyen Minh Cong.

A dress is made out of roasted watermelon seeds by Nguyen Minh Cong.

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Hoai Phuong - Dong Nguyen / Tuoi Tre News

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