Ngoc Bao Vu – The Dark Side Of Fashion

Available in : Vietnamese


December 14.2020


This world often makes it difficult to stand out in the crowd and be an individual. Particularly with one’s style. For most, it’s easier to fit it and not make waves. This is perhaps especially true for women. Ngoc Bao Vu, a Saigonese woman, is more than an exception to the rule. With her collection of custom goth clothing, she defines stepping outside the norm to the extreme! Here is a brilliant story of a woman who, years ago in high school, became infatuated with punk rock. What her passion lead her to was to become a self-taught seamstress and designer. She did this out of necessity because it was 100% impossible to buy punk gear here back in the day. I can vouch for that. In fact, before smart-phones, it was almost impossible to even learn about such things here back in the day.




Photo credits Ngoc Bao Vu


Her love of punk lead her to goth and today, after years of hard work, not only can you can say she is the queen of Goth in Vietnam, but for the last seven years, she has had her own custom clothing business called Shop Rock Ba Ba. Her customers adore her creations. They often do photoshoots together, sometimes out in the forest, and there are plans for a Goth fashion show in January.
Many of her customers look up to her as a style role model. One great service she provides them is to make incredible custom clothing rather than cheap mass-produced “punky” crap manufactured and sold from outside VN. (She confided to me the most challenging time for her business was when the Vietnamese market was flooded with online punk junk.)



Photo credits Ngoc Bao Vu



Her style is dark! Pure goth! It could hold its own in any of the best goth clubs in the world. (Another fact I can vouch for having personally spent years on the worldwide goth circuit.)

Ngoc specializes in the dark aristocratic style of the European 1800s. Naturally, means white frills and black body-hugging corsets. However, equally importantly, she is making amazing clothing inspired by the Nhat Binh style of Ao Dai. This is pure goth through and through and completely unisex save for perhaps fabric choice.


Interestingly, the Goth style is gaining popularity in Vietnam. Mostly with women in their 20s to mid-30s. They have largely been inspired by female music artists, such as Billie Eilish, who push a bit into the Goth fashion realm. I suppose my bend is more towards Bauhaus but this is 2020, not 1980. I’m just thrilled they are exploring individual expression via their style. Good stuff for sure!




Photo credits Ngoc Bao Vu


One thing Ngoc prides herself on is making clothing that fits the customer. Meaning not only the customer’s body type but their ability to wear the clothing within the limits of their daily life. She has women say, “I work in an office but can you please make me something on the dark side that I can wear to work?” That’s awesome!


So I completely applaud Ngoc for her years-long dedication to providing people with a means to express themselves in a world where individuality with respect to dress does not always come easy.


Available in : Vietnamese

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Bliss Saigon is an online magazine dedicated to the Art of living in Ho Chi Minh City and Asia. The magazine present a unique editorial approach based on experts and influencers contributions, written with optimism, humor and accessibility, offering an interactive and ludic reading on lifestyle topics with sharp selections for unique insights.