The Hanoitimes - On August 30, the glamour of Vietnamese Ao dai (traditional long dress) was brought closer to our international friends through a stellar show jointly held by the Vietnamese Embassy in South Korea and the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE).
The event is part of the art exhibitions and performances which are underway at the KOFICE’s headquarters to mark the 72nd anniversary of Vietnam’s National Day and the 25th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Vietnamese "Ao dai" embroidered with national flowers of ASEAN member states at the show.
The Ao dai show featured 10 designs of the traditional dress by famous designer Si Hoang, which were embroidered with the national flowers of the ASEAN member states. According to Hoang, the cultural event will make significant contributions to promoting people-to-people exchanges and tightening the bilateral relations. Vietnamese culture was also highlighted through performances of dan bau (monochord), sao truc (bamboo flute) and dan T’rung (bamboo xylophone).
The Ao Dai is a Vietnamese traditional clothing, now most commonly worn by women but can also be worn by men. In its current form, it is a tight-fitting silk tunic worn over trousers.
The word “Ao Dai” was originally applied to the outfit worn at the court of the Nguyen Lords at Hue in the 18th century. This outfit evolved into the “áo ngũ thân”, a five-paneled aristocratic gown worn in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Inspired by Paris fashions, Nguyen Cat Tuong and other artists associated with Hanoi University redesigned the ngũ thân as a modern dress in the 1920s and 1930s.
The updated look was promoted by the artists and magazines of Tu Luc văn đoàn (Self-Reliant Literary Group) as a national costume for the modern era. In the 1950s, Saigon designers tightened the fit to produce the version worn by Vietnamese women today. The dress was extremely popular in South Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s. On Tet and other occasions, Vietnamese men may wear an áo gấm (brocade robe), a version of the ao dai made of thicker fabric.
Academic commentary on the ao dai emphasizes the way the dress ties feminine beauty to Vietnamese nationalism, especially in the form of “Miss Ao Dai” pageants, popular both among overseas Vietnamese and in Vietnam itself. “Ao Dai” is one of the few Vietnamese words that appear in English-language dictionaries.
Tuyet Nhung - VNA