Building foundations with Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry
Even seasoned travellers welcome the insight of the right sort of local, a gently guiding hand in new territories or a fresh take on the familiar. With this in mind, Wallpaper* in collaboration with Tudor watches has produced a series of Style Files; country-specific, cliché-dodging dossiers and in-the-field notes for the contemporary explorer who really knows where they are going.
Born in Hanoi, Vietnam, but a resident of Budapest for more than 20 years, fashion and accessories designer Luu Anh Tuan has a unique take on Hungarian culture. His parents, both diplomats, were posted to Budapest just after Hungary’s regime change in 1989, fell in love with the city and never went home. ‘Budapest was and is a very inspiring place to be,’ says Luu. ‘I love the rhythm and energy of the city.’ He recommends Budapest’s spicy salami, the masterpiece of secession art nouveau that is the Török Bankház (Turkish Bank House), the cult Hungarian mineral skincare brand Omorovicza and pálinka, a fiery Hungarian fruit brandy.
Tuan believes that, style-wise, his architecturally eclectic home town is divided into two distinct generational tribes. ‘The older generation had to find their look during the communist era, when choices were very limited. Some of them still wear clothes from that era or from even further back to the styles of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy!’ Budapest’s youth, meanwhile, tend to follow more international trends. ‘People are trying to process the past and use fashion to express themselves,’ says Luu.
The designer studied at Budapest’s Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design and then at the London College of Fashion. He set up his Anh Tuan label six years ago and his ethically aware collections, which use only natural materials, are now shown at fashion weeks in London, New York, Prague, Zagreb and Tokyo.‘When I decided to be a designer, I wanted to do something special, experimenting with form, structure and surface. I put a great emphasis on combining traditional methods with modern technologies,’ he says.