SIHN SEMILLA – Laos 2019-04-09T22:13:35+00:00

.

Sihn-semilla 2019

crafting in laos

Laos as the crash test, kind of draft … A landlocked & Buddhist multi-ethnic country with an amazing diversity, lovely people and a very rich heritage culture. No plan, no clue, just a wish to do something with collected fabrics and to give visibility to a culture in change …  #UPCYCLING

What is LAO P.D.R. official/emblematic women clothing?

Widely used as uniform in the schools, government offices and during celebrations…

Just a hint: it is used in many heritage cultures …

Called the “sinh” in Laos, it is a piece of cloth sown into a cylindrical tube stepped and tucked in at the waist! 

From the crops to the offices, thousands of models of sihns can be found in the country. Sihn fabrics can be hand-woven, hand-embroided or mixed with industrial fabrics, threads or ornaments. Pretty sure, everyone finds something!

A “sinh” can say a lot and be recognizable among thousands. 

It varies depending on the generation, the social/economic situation, the area, the ethnic group (mostly lao loum/tai kadai or lao theung/austro-asiatic) or sub-group and even the family. Used fabrics, threads, embroideries, colors and patterns have a meaning.

 The “sihn” is the seed of this project, the “semilla” (Spanish word for “seed”) you have to sow to give a start to anything.

 WANT SOMETHING, CONTACT ME… 

MUM POTS AND PANS

FLOURISHED SIHNS, THE MOST COMMON ONES, AVAILABLE IN EVERY COUNTRYSIDE VILLAGE BOUTIQUES. THEY ARE LIGHT, FRESH AND PRETTY RESISTANT TO WORK IN THE FIELDS.

PERFECT FABRIC TO MAKE A START. TIMIDLY STAYING IN THE MOM’S POTS AND PANS TO PROPOSE PANTIES, BOOMERS AND UNDERPANTS FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS ALIKE. PERFECT HAS TRUNKS TOO!

TIED IN THE MOTHER’S APRON, A TRIBUTE TO ALL THE MUMS AND WOMEN.

OPT FOR AN UNDERCOVER FLORISHED STYLE!

SPINNING HEAD

SIHNS ARE BEAUTIFUL BUT WRETCHEDLY DO NOT TURN…

A SERIE OF SKIRTS SLIGHTLY INSPIRED BY AKHA (FOR THE PLEATS) & HMONG TRADITIONAL (ELABORATED BELTS & APRON) COSTUMES. 

THEN COMES THE “SBARF”, HALF BAG, HALF SCARF OR LARGE COLLAR. AN ERGONOMIC ADAPTATION OF THE TRADITIONAL LAO LOUM/TAI KADAI “BUDDHIST CELEBRATION SCARF”.

STYLISH! TWOFOLD STYLE SKIRTS MOSTLY TO WEAR AND PAIR ACCORDING TO YOUR MOOD AND WILL. 

LIGHT, FRESH, CONFORTABLE & REASONABLY COLORFUL.

THE UPS FOR THE DOWNS

‘CAUSE WE SOMETIMES NEED TO LOOK BIT MORE WELL-MATCHED, FUNKY, DRESSEP UP OR JUST A MIX OF ALL THAT… WE CAN’T AVOID THE GREAT “BOLEROS”.

EASY TO WEAR DAY AND NIGHT, CASUAL OR CLASSY WITH A JEAN, DRESS OR JUST A SHORT. EASY TO FIND THE RIGHT PAIRING, IT IS NOT REALLY A WORRY.

MADE WITH HANDWOVEN FABRICS (BY THE DEATH AND MUTE SCHOOL, LANTEN AND LAO LOUM TRIBES) AND SILK WITH LITTLE TOUCHES OF ORIGINALITY (EMBROIDERIES, APPLIQUE, BEADS WEAVING FROM DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUPS) RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SHOULDER BLADES. 

A WINK TO HMONG ANCIENT CUSTOM TO KEEP BAD SPIRITS AWAY SEWING A LITTLE SOMETHING JUST RIGHT THERE.

KIND OF LUCKY CHARM ; SIMPLE AND NOT TOO FLASHY!

MUNIU MANIA* ADDS

BAGS & CLUTCH BAGS, NECKLACES & EARINGS, BELTS & BRACES, UNCLASSABLES & MUCH MORE…

COLLECT ALL YOU LIKE, NO PLAN, NO CLUE…MADE OUT WILD WINE PLANT FIBER, RECYCLED CANS, WAR REMAIN, JOB TEARS & SOME OTHER STUFF.

* Muniu Mania: Hotchpotch in Lao language

Sihn-Semilla re-presents, a wink and tribute to this amazing country, its culture, crafts and history depicting a little tiny part of what you get there.

 Heritage culture & craftsmanship

 

 .

Traditional skills to spin the thread (cotton, silk or hemp), to prepare natural (indigo, ebony, teak, wild almond, annatto tree, betel, jackfruit, turmeric, beetroot…) dyes mixtures and leads to weave (Ikat, Nam Lai, Chok & Kit  …) and to customize with embroidery, applique, batik or other techniques.

Heritage culture country at the very beginning of development, few hours before to loose track on their traditional fabrics, costumes and savoir-faire.

A focus on the traditional with a little potpourri of know-how.

 

 

Green hills & Mekong river

 . 

Living in harmony with nature…

Raw materials for handicrafts and daily life (mostly) come from the surroundings, natural materials such as wood, bamboo, clay, cotton, hemp, silk worms, wild wine, natural dyes and loads more.

Here the forest provided cotton, dyes and job tears, natural beads (also yummy in desserts) collected and transformed into necklaces by the Akha. 

Borrowed to the mighty river; beautiful pebbles and bit of silver for powerful pendants.

Animists believe trees, rivers, caves or stones to have a soul.  

 

 

Low– mid– high-land tribes

 

  .

Learn more in the Filops’era section ; Laos has so many different ethnic groups & sub-groups (Katu, Akha, Lanten, Hmong, Lao … ) living all over the country.

Each of them have their specificities, different know-how and heritage skills handed down from generation to generation.

Sihn-Semilla has a slight inspiration from their costumes. It is a real mix of styles.

Empower who you can, ethnic groups but any kind of communities encountered on the way with special needs such as the Luang Prabang Death and Mute community.

Give a hand, value any culture…

 

  

UNSPOKEN HISTORY 

 

 .

9 years under the bombs, one dropped every 8 minutes … 

The stigma of the war are still omnipresent in some regions as crevasses and MAG signs can testify   the disaster.

Today, the ugly found the way to the beautiful, UXO and war remains are transformed in spoons and other objects….

Made out of those bombs, simple circles with a strong symbolism.

Sacred to several cultures, the circle means renewal, unity, heaven, balance, space, universe, protection, the moon, the sun and the everything…

We all one, we should thrive for unity and diversity.

CULTURE IN CHANGE … 

 

  .

On the way to an industrial and modern society…

Development generally arrives with huge social and economic changes. Structures of the villages, consumption habits, clothing styles and much more are highly affected. Industrialized products and global culture step by step replace the traditional, the heritage culture …  Akha people use to wear a large amount of silver on their costumes and headresses. Silver getting more and more hard to find, it is substituted by aluminium pieces and recycled cans, also used for their emblematic crafts.

,

to get something, CONTACT ME… 

and now what ?

This was a crash test, a draft. There is no plan but a wish to give a second round and improve daily designs and practices, to support local economies, cultures and productions. Empower local people and communities, discover and learn about their outfits, their symbolic or way to define people, their values, beliefs and share a bit more deeply about all that (movies, photos, documents…)

Enjoy while it is still possible the old-fashioned style tribes and their heritage culture centered around human and nature as it should be.

Just a way like another to discover that we are all “same same but different”, thank god.

#FOLLOW

.