Made in Houston

Rice Grad Thu Nguyen Takes Flight into Fashion

This stylish student is making the leap from fashion blogger to fashion designer.

By Miranda Proctor June 21, 2016

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Thu Nguyen in a dress from T Collective.

Living life at 100 miles an hour can seem daunting for most, but new Rice grad Thu Nguyen seems to have it down pat. As an undergrad only did she excel as hard science major, but she did it while managing Rice's first fashion blog, 6100 Main, where her passion for design and fashion originated.

As chief editor, Nguyen not only ran the show online, but on the runways, too. She coordinated Rice’s Lunar New Year fashion show in 2015 and 2016, which focused on avant garde, post-modern and minimalistic looks. Many of the pieces that graced the runway were designed by Nguyen herself despite her lack of formal education in design. “We couldn’t borrow enough clothes, so I thought, why don’t I just make them?” Nguyen says. 

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Nguyen's clothing mixes casual-chic looks with street style.

Now Nguyen is balancing studying for graduate school in biomedical science, interning for local designer Sunchild, and designing her new line—no big deal, right? Nguyen’s collection, T Collective, consists of innovative, minimalistic shift dresses that are conservative with a touch of Club Monaco. Each dress is made to measure to give it a unique touch and designed without labels to help prove that the only thing that matters is the fashion itself.

Minimalistic designs are having a moment in fashion today, but what differentiates Nguyen’s designs are the unique details. Her newest design features a halter shift dress, tied at the neckline with—seriously—a shoestring. Nguyen says the chic-casual look is meant to encourage a K-Pop-inspired street style by wearing sneakers with the dress. The high neck is begging for a statement necklace if you want to add some pizzazz.

My favorite of Nguyen's designs is a classic LBD with a twist. Paint strokes of color, rolled up sleeves and peek-a-boo back help spice up the look, while staying classy with the simple-shift silhouette. This collection is tentatively called Friendspiration, a tribute to her friends' constant support and motivation. This is only the beginning of T Collective, says Nguyen. She's set an official launch for fall 2016, with much more to come. 

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