by Yulia Mikhalchuk
Bethesda Row Landmark Cinema welcomed a hand-picked crowd of guests for DC premiere of “Dressed” documentary on October 6. “Dressed” is an award winning film that follows acclaimed women’s ready-to-wear designer Nary Manivong on his unprecedented journey from homeless to New York Fashion Week. Originally from Laos and abandoned by parents, Nary from the very early age had to face incredibly difficult circumstances which did not break him down but gave him guts and courage to reach for his dreams. Simon Doonan, Fern Mallis, Nanette Lepore, Lynn Yaeger and other fashion figures are featured in the movie. Despite common thought that fashion business is very glamorous, they all agree on that it is very competitive and butchery industry. After first 2 years, 80% of designers are out of business. It is never pure luck if you make it, although one can not overestimate its role in the industry. Nary, who started from subzero base, thanks to his unbelievable passion and commitment, and ability to overcome his own fears and failures, now has his own line. In addition, he now collaborates with Ally Hillfiger on “NAHM” line, reinventing shirtdresses. NAHM stands for their combined initials (Nary-Ally-Hillfiger-Manivong) and also means “water” in Laos.
After the screening in Bethesda Row, Nary and director of the movie David Swajeski were interviewed by Kate Bennett of Capitol File magazine. Followed, anxious viewers took turns asking questions (and have been rewarded for them with soundtrack CDs!). The afterparty was held at Jaleo Bethesda, where guests mingled and were profusely fed and suffused.
Nary, who once was very shy to people and сonfessed in the film that communication is not his strongest skill, now admitted that his friends helped him to open up and it actually moved his business a lot. Asked if he is going to make clothes for men, too, “Not yet, maybe in the future”, – he replied.
Enjoy some pictures and don’t forget to visit whole gallery.