By Huu Nghi | dtinews.vn |
On the first night of Hanoi’s 10 day celebration of its 1,000 year anniversary, 100 models performed in the Ao Dai Festival by Hoan Kiem Lake in the city centre.
Based on an idea of bringing the finest of Vietnamese culture and tradition into the design, organisers designed and created 600 of the traditional dresses for the festival. The festival included two main themes: One showed the city of Hanoi in the past and the other showed special features of the ao dai from Vietnam’s three regions. From these two themes, organisers have prepared several Ao dai collections such as “Recalling memories”, “Sacred dragon features”, “Hanoi’s streets” and “Sunny flowers”.
Below are some snapshots of the show last night:
Some of Vietnam’s greatest beauties came together to pose in the traditional ao dai, a symbol of the nation.
Famous actress Thu Ha, Miss Ngo Phuong Lan (Miss Vietnam World 2007), Ngoc Oanh (Runner-up Miss Vietnam 2000) and former Model Hoang Xuan posed for the first time together wearing the ao dai.
The photo shoot was taken in anticipation of the Ao Dai Festival which will take place on October 1, 2010, the opening day of the upcoming events for the 1,000 Year Anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi.
The ao dai is a Vietnamese national dress worn by women. In its current form, it is a tight-fitting silk tunic worn over pantaloons.
The Ao Dai Festival of the North, Central and South regions will be held at the well-known sight-seeing Thap But (pen tower) – Ngoc Son Temple, in Hanoi. The festival provides an outstanding art activity as part of the programme “The fanciful night by Hoan Kiem Lake”.
Based on an idea of bringing the finest of Vietnamese culture and tradition into the design, organisers designed and created 600 of the traditional dresses for the festival. The festival will include two main themes: One shows the city of Hanoi in the past and the other will show special features of the ao dai from Vietnam’s three regions. From these two themes, organisers have prepared several Ao dai collections such as “Recalling memories”, “Sacred dragon features”, “Hanoi’s streets” and “Sunny flowers”.
Vietnamese beauty stars Miss Ngo Phuong Lan, Ngoc Oanh, Tran Thi Quynh, Dang Thuy Trang and others will perform in the Ao Dai Festival.
The festival will last for 45 minutes with the performance of 100 models. The stage will have very unique design and decorations. Its catwalk will cover 350 metres and the stage will be decorated with flowered mats and conical hats. The show will also include performances on traditional activities of Hanoians in the past.
Below are some photos of the ao dai dresses which will be showcased on October 1, 2010:
Actress Thu Ha
Miss Ngo Phuong Lan
Former Model Hoang Xuan
Am Sac Viet (Vietnamese Timbre) – a program that brings three musical styles from the North, the Central and the South of Vietnam - is attracting thousands of people in the Hue festival.
Am Sac Viet is a combination of ca tru (choral chamber music) from the north, ca Hue (Hue singing) and cai luong (renovated opera) from the south.
Three troupes, one from each region, got together for their first one-hour performance inside Dien Tho palace on Sunday night.
The four-member Thai Ha group from Ha Noi, Hue-based Phu Xuan with seven artists and two artists from Bach Tuyet and Thanh Hai from HCM City each performed a 20-minute item.
“I love the atmosphere of this music which feels like a trip back in history to the time of the mandarin or the court of the Vietnamese kings, when there was nothing electronic, only music, architecture and simple things,” French tourist Alain Thomas said. “It is extremely emotional music and has a very unique timbre.”
The audience was welcomed through the three entrances of the wooden palace by young women in ao dai (traditional long dress of Viet Nam) and were shown to their seats on embroidered pillows around a slightly raised stage.
In front of each pillow was a porcelain flowered tray on which sat a pottery tea set, a small pottery plate plus a white or pink lotus flower.
The show’s director said three sweet bean candies and three sugar-coated lotus seeds were laid out for audience members to allow the fine fragrance of the lotus flower to circulate during the performance.
“I have no idea about the programme but its name absorbed me,” said a Viet kieu (an overseas Vietnamese), home from the US for one month.
“As a Viet kieu living far from Viet Nam for such a long time, I am very interested in this music,” the middle-aged woman said. “I know it is something very original.”
Seventy-year-old Nguyen Van Mui, the leader of the Thai Ha troupe, said the combination in such solemn surroundings helps the audiences better understand the typical features of each style of music.
“I am happy to see not only middle-aged and old people, but also young people show respect for traditional music.”
Sitting silently from the beginning to the end of the show, 19-year-old Nguyen Le Minh, a student from the Hue, was one of the youngest members of the audience.
Minh had only come inside Dien Tho to shelter from the rain, but then decided to stay.
“But it is not easy to enjoy the three typical kinds of music at the same time and in a such a serious atmosphere.”
Am Sac Viet programme is performed every night at Dien Tho Palace throughout the Hue Festival.
Source: Vietnam Traditional Clothes
The beauty of women dressed in “Ao Dai”always leaves a deep impression on foreign visitors to Vietnam
The beauty of women dressed in “Ao Dai”always leaves a deep impression on foreign visitors to Vietnam. Girl students dressed in white long robes take to streets on the way to schools or back home, or gracefully sail on their bikes along streets. Female secretaries in delicate pastels greet you at an office door and older ladies in deep shades of purple, green or blue cut a striking pose at a restaurant dinner. The “Ao Dai” appears to flatter every figure.
Early versions of the “Ao Dai”date back to 1744 when Lord Vu Vuong of the Nguyen Dynasty decreed both men and women should wear an ensemble of trousers and a gown that buttoned down the front. However, not until 1930 did “Ao Dai”appear partly similar to its look today. Now, Men wore it less, generally only on ceremonial occasions such as weddings or funerals. During the 1950s two tailors in Saigon started producing “Ao Dai”with raglan sleeves. This creates a diagonal seam running from the collar to the underarm and this style is still preferred today
“Ao Dai”is made individually to fit each customer’s shape to create the most graceful look. Its body-hugging top flows over wide trousers that brush the floor. The pants should reach the soles of the feet and flow along the floor. Splits in the gown extend well above waist height and make it comfortable and easy to move in.
Comfortability is always taken into account for fashions and beauty. Tailoring must ensure the wearer’s freedom of movements. Despite it is a long robe, “Ao Dai”must be cool to wear. Synthetic or silk fabrics are preferred as they do not crush and are quick drying, making the “Ao Dai”a practical uniform for daily wear.
The color is indicative of the wearer’s age and status. Young girls wear pure white, fully-lined outfits symbolizing their purity. Older but unmarried girls move into soft pastel shades. Only married women wear “Ao Dai”in strong, rich colors, usually over white or black pants. However, “Ao Dai”is rarely seen in places where manual work is practiced. The nineties saw a real resurgence of ao dai. It has become standard and common attire for girl students as well as female staff at offices and hotels. Traditionally, “Ao Dai”has become the most preferred dress on formal occasions.
Today, “Ao Dai”has been a bit modified. Its length is cut shorter usually just below the knee. Variations in the neck, between boat and mandarin style, are common. And even adventurous alterations such as a low scooped neckline, puffed sleeves or off the shoulder designs are appearing as ladies experiment with fashion. Color patterns are no longer rigidly controlled and accesses to new fabrics have generated some dazzling results. However, most visitors to Vietnam have highly appreciated local tailors’ skills when making ao dai. It is hard to think of a more elegant, demure and charming outfit, that suits Vietnamese women of different ages, than ao dai.