A photo story featuring Si and Uyen in the unisex tạp dề / apron. Lá Chuối / Banana Leaf Pocket Apron was initially designed for our team at the Kaarem studio and at Que Upstairs, our Saigon based café-bar-kitchen. We wanted to create a versatile design that functions well for a variety of jobs, tasks and environments.
Si wears the Banana Leaf Apron while tending to the garden.
One of Kaarem’s favorite activity and ongoing point of reference and inspiration is the surrounding nature and plant life found in Kaarem’s place of birth, Saigon, Vietnam.
Si, a longtime friend of Kaarem, spends time engaging in the lifecycle of plants; weeding away leaves that have browned and replanting Phong Lan và Dương xỉ (orchids and ferns) in hopes of renewed growth. The plant is refreshed and sits nicely in our studio.
Uyen wears the Banana Leaf Apron while mending garments; she spends time meditatively repairing areas of items that have shown signs of being worn time and time again.
Through the act of stitching and patching, the items are restored to a state in which they can continue to bring warmth and familiarity.
The Lá Chuối / Banana Leaf Apron itself is also an ode to repurposing and making useful again - something we find inspirational in Vietnam. The apron is made of remnant material from past Kaarem designs.
The apron allows the wearer to be present in their chosen activity, focusing on the task at hand.
Karen Thao La