Cast your mind back to Sydney Fashion Week in April of last year: the flurry of street style photos, peacocking outfits and among them, a quiet but constant stand out: A crisp white shirt with an overextended cuff, piped with navy at the seam - chic, refined and favoured by the country's most discerning editors and influencers. That was the work of one Miss Anna Hoang.
A graduate of the institutional East Sydney Tafe (responsible for nurturing the design talent of Romance Was Born, Akira Isogawa, Michelle Jank, Dion Lee and Nicky Zimmermann), Haong launched her label Anna Quan (the designer's first and middle names) with the intention of creating functional, yet fashionable garments that transition as the wearer does from AM to PM, desk to dinner. Appearing on the pages of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Elle magazines as well as on the backs of such discerning women as Camille Charrière, Yoyo Cao and Amanda Shadforth, the label, as per it's collections, are discreet yet distinguished.
Her eagle-eye for details and restrained, clever tailoring have this season been immortalised in the ground of Paris' Musée du Louvre alongside a collaboration with cult British jewellery label, Alighieri. Here, she talks to Buro about her latest collection.
What was your starting point for this collection?
This collection was a continuation of my previous Resort 2017 collection, Symphony Part I. As the name suggests, a lot of the motifs and design lines and hardware are taken from music.
What would you say is the mood?
European vacation - smart but relaxed.
How did the collaboration with British jewellery brand, Alighieri, come about?
One day on Instagram, I chanced upon some of [designer Rosh Mahtani's] imagery and completely fell in love with her work. I contacted her and as luck would have it, she was planning to come to Sydney a few months later. As they say, the rest is history.
What do Anna Quan and Alighieri have in common?
I think the commonality lies in our approach to design and why we design. What we design is a piece of ourselves and there is some honestly there. It isn't based on trying to follow popular trends and jumping on the bandwagon.
I really admire Rosh. She has such a creative conviction for what she does and every piece she designs is a part of her story. The commonality is that there is a narrative, every piece is a development of that and the work is purposeful.
Why were you so drawn to Paris for the lookbook shoot?
The courtyard [where the lookbook was shot] is located at the back of the Musee du Louvre and isn't as frequented and photographed when compared to the iconic Pyramid at the front that we associate with the Louvre. I like playing with preconceptions and rediscovering something beautiful.
What are your regular Paris haunts?
I'm not a very touristy person. I always love the everyday things about Paris: the cobbled streets along Le Marais, the cafes that open out onto the street until 2am. My favourite past time is to 'flâner', taken from the French word 'flâneur', which literally means a person that loafs around, observing people doing everyday things. I love people-watching.
How do you see women wearing this collection?
What I like about this collection is that the pieces can be worn and styled in various ways to suit formal or casual occasions. I like my wardrobe to work hard for me. I designed the pieces so that women could wear these items more than once and revisit the clothing and reinvent it in a new way.