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Vietnamese traditional dress showcased in Thailand

Vietnamese traditional dress showcased in Thailand

A performance of Vietnamese traditional long dress (ao dai) was organised on December 3 in Ayutthaya, the former capital city of Thailand, attracting a lot of Thai and regional audiences.
This is under the framework of the first ASEAN Arts and Crafts Festival (AACF) which was held from November 29 to December 3.

During around one hour, six collections of Vietnamese traditional long dresses and Vietnamese traditional brassieres through the performance of 14 models of the Kalawin Fashion House of Thailand attracted the audiences.

Audiences highly appreciated the collections whose designs and harmony of colours highlighted the value of the tradition and modernity of Vietnam.

Designs by Lan Huong performed in Thailand.

Designer Lan Huong said she herself chose high quality material such as silk and taffeta from provinces of Ha Tay, Lam Dong and Da Nang for her products. Therefore, her dresses are combined with features of famous silk and embroidery handicraft villages in Vietnam. This aims to honour the beauty of women and the cultural and art values of Vietnam.

Ao Dai inspired building!

Vietnam’s tallest building planned in Hanoi

Coralis Vietnam Co., an affiliate of SA Coralis of Luxembourg, has submitted the design of its proposed 65-story building, Vietnam’s tallest, to Hanoi authorities.
The 195-meter building, Hanoi City Complex, will be located at the intersection of Dao Tan and Lieu Giai streets in the capital’s Ba Dinh District.

The US$114.6-million building, the largest foreign-invested venture in the Hanoi real estate sector, will have apartments and offices for rent, conference halls, and a shopping mall, supermarket, cinema, and clinic.
An SA Coralis representative said the design of the building was based on the charm of the traditional Vietnamese garment, the ao dai, and the smiles of the Vietnamese people.
The skyscraper will take three years to build and is likely to be opened in 2010.

The country’s tallest building now is the 33-storey Saigon Trade Center in Ho Chi Minh City’s district 1.

Source: Tuoi Tre, VTC – Translated by Thu Thuy

Vietnamese ao dai auctioned for US$7,000

The winner of the auction was Tran Minh Son, Director of the New Son Company. The auction is a very interesting part of the fancy party, where participants had to pay $200 each.

The starting price of this ao dai was $1,000, instead of $2,000 as the organisers announced before. However, it sold for $7,000.

Truc Diem cried when calling for benefactors to buy this ao dai to raise funds for disadvantaged children.

“This ao dai is not only made by hand, but it is made by hearts,” she said in English.
(Source: TNO)

Ai Nhi crowned Miss Photographic 2005

Nguyen Thi Ai Nhi, 22, from Lam Dong Province was crowned Miss Photographic Vietnam 2005.
Miss Photographic Vietnam is organised by The Gioi Phu Nu magazine every year. This year over 700 attended the contest, 20 of whom were selected for the final round
The winner, Ai Nhi, was also awarded ‘Miss Ao Dai”, while second place getter, Truong Thi Phuc Diem, 19 was awarded ‘most charming face’, and Trang Nhung, 20 in third place also received an award for ‘best performer’.

In addition, organisers awarded ‘most beautiful hair’ to Tran Thi Huong Giang, ‘most charming smile’ to Huynh Thi Thanh Tuyen, ‘most beautiful body’ to Vu Nguyen Ha Anh, ‘Miss photography’ to Chung Thuc Nguyen, ‘best costume’ to Vu Thu Giang, and ‘Miss audience’ to Le Thi Kim Thi.

Traditional Dress in a Changing World

In Viet Nam, the ao dai is the traditional dress for women. Developed from Chinese court clothing in the 1930s, this style of clothing went out of fashion in the north in 1954 and in the south in 1975. Recently, however, it has made a comeback and is regaining popularity in the south among schoolgirls and office workers, and is being worn at formal functions. An indication of social standing, the ao dai is worn by women who work as shop assistants or who have a higher social status, while manual workers typically wear a loose top and baggy pants called an ao ba ba.

The ao dai is considered to be an elegant, yet demure, garment. Traditionally, long, wide- legged trousers are worn under a high-necked, long-sleeved, fitted tunic with slits along each side. The outfit’s pants reach to the soles of the feet, often trailing along the ground. Over time, the dress tunic has evolved, keeping with fashion trends, and has grown shorter and shorter until it now falls just below the knees. The ao dai can also be identified by its mandarin-style or boat-neck collar. Young girls wear only pastel colored or white garments while married women wear either dark or bright tunics over black or white trousers.

Historically, Vietnamese men dressed in mandarin style suits. With a tunic shorter and fuller than the ao dai, the suit’s color was traditionally determined by the man’s class and social rank. For example, a purple suit denoted a high rank while blue denoted a low rank. Status was also indicated through a variety of embroidered symbols. Today the mandarin suit is rarely worn except for in traditional dance or music performances.

In general, Vietnamese people dress conservatively. Although some young women wear more close-fitting, Western-style clothing, it is considered inappropriate to wear revealing clothes during the day. One Westerner teaching English in Viet Nam was advised to tuck her shirt into her trousers if she expected respect from her students. It is considered inappropriate for educated people to wear their shirts untucked.

The Royal/Wedding áo dài: Áo mệnh phụ

The royal costume most commonly known today would be the áo mệnh phụ of the Nguyen dynasty. It is predictably more festive (in color and decoration) and includes a long flowing outer robe (with large, wide sleeves).
This costume, once mandatory for royal women of the Nguyen dynasty to wear at public functions, has subsequently become the mandatory costume for Vietnamese brides.
In addition, brides often wear khăn đóng, a crown-like headgear which is made from silk brocade.

ao dai Styles

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History of Áo dài

Pronounced "ao yai" in the south, and "ao zai" in the north, the costume has had a short history relative to the country and people of Vietnam.
Early versions of the garment date back to the early 1700's, and were influenced by imperial Chinese garb of the Qing dynasty, known as Qipao. Unlike its cousin the qipao, which is a tight fitted dress with slits on both sides (in its modern reincarnation), the áo dài is a looser tunic, which even in its tight-fitting form is still left wide and flowing at the bottom. Furthermore, the slits of the áo dài extend above the waistline, revealing a slight glimpse of the sides of the midriff.
The costume has faced countless modifications throughout the centuries but its basic form consists of a long flowing gown with a slit on both sides, often with a high fitted collar, worn over long silk pants.
Some historians have suggested that the áo dài was an evolution of different influences from many directions, including the ancient four-flapped tunic áo tứ thân, one of the other more well known (and much older than áo dài) traditional Kinh costumes.