Vo Viet Chung introduced the collection of ao dai of women in the central, the northern and southern Vietnam, the collection of ao dai for Miss Universe 2008 pageant in Vietnam and the collection of modern ao dai named “Colors of Soil”.

However, the highlight of this show was a unique ao dai, recognized as a national record, worn by Miss Vietnam 2006 Mai Phuong Thuy.

Mai Phuong Thuy and the special ao dai, which is recognised as the ao dai with the highest number of laps:

The collection of ao dai women in the central, the northern and southern Vietnam


THE AODAIHoi Trung Duong


By: Tran Van Thuong

Photo of Vo Viet Chung, Viet Anh

In 2007 the ‘Hoi trung duong’ aodai project, by designer Vo Viet Chung, was anticipated to be completed within 6 months, but it is only two years later that the final seams of the huge aodai were finished, only three months before the big Millennium Thang Long Hanoi festival celebrations – the final stop of trungduong as expected.

– Designer Vo Viet Chung: “I actually finished the aodai at the end of last year, but I’m a perfectionist and I want to make it as close to perfect as possible. For example, I changed the color of its laps and some needlework, I also changed the gems becaI thought they weren’t suitable. It is my wish to have my own masterpiece after working in the fashion business for 20 years.”


+ TravelliveBecaof its great stature and significant meaning, it is now not your own, even though you are the designer, the manager and the investigator of this longtime cultural project. It will be shown in public and will stay in their hearts. Lets take a look at it’s appearance and compare it to how it looked at the start.

– When the aodai ‘Hoi trung duong’ appears in public, they will realize that it is a harmonious combination of three features: embroidered skill, high-faluting art (such as our traditional calligraphy) and the skill of plaiting gems in the modern age.  As a difference from the primary outline, I invited the Chinese calligrapher, Truong Han Minh to write some old Vietnamese proverbs on the aodai. Handwriting characters are refined as if it hides behind clouds and flying dragons. ‘Hoi trung duong’ is a special story of national history and culture. We can see the image of Vietnamese women in the art of flower embroidering and brocading that passes on tradition from one generation to another. It holds the spirit of the nation.


Have you contacted Vietbooks to find out if you have a chance to record the aodai ‘Hoi trung duong’ into Vietnamese Guinness?

– They actually contacted me! Vietbooks are completing my profile to up a record for ‘Hoi trung duong’.  According to our commitment, related information to this record is to be kept secret until the night before the aodai is revealed in Saigon were it was made. It is anticipated to take place on September 23rd,, this is when Vietbooks will give me their decision whether or not my work will be recognized.


+In 2008 the ‘Hoi trung duong’ project attracted much local and international attention, like Travellive and KBS, a Korean based channel. In the period of its completion has there been any opportunity for the public to see it?

–  The answer is not yet. At the end of last year, during some Vietnamese cultural weeks abroad, they asked me to introduce it but I decided against it. I want my work to appear at the right place and occasion, this was my plan since I decided to create it.

+ You have been given an insignia as well as a congratulatory certificate “the designer has the credit of recovering and developing My A satin material” by UNESCO in 2006. At your collection in Milan ‘Ms Ba from Vietnam’ the international fashion circles had the chance to view and admire this Southern traditional material. y. Is it the reason why you choose this material for the aodai ‘Hoi trung duong’, the manifestation of respect for ancient values on the decline?

– That’s right, but it is not enough. Indeed, few international fashion circles are familiar with Vietnamese fashion. Not only myself, but also, other Vietnamese designers will be able to take advantage of our valuable chance to popularize the image of Vietnam, with UNESCO recognizing us as well as the exposure received by international fashion shows and Fashion TV.  In this piece of ‘Hoi trung duong’, My A satin material of Tan Chau silk is used mainly for panels. I would like people to look and revere it as a cultural relic, something restored after a long sleep. In addition, many other traditional kinds of silk such as Ha Dong silk, Van Phuc silk from the North, Lam Dong and Da Nang silk from the Centre are displayed in 9 laps and sleeves. ‘Hoi trung duong’ is the blend of traditional and modern silk such as Phong Phu, Phuoc Thinh.

+ The aodai ‘Hoi trung duong’ is going to make its debut in October on the Millennium Thang Long Hanoi celebrations. How do expect you will feel when showing your masterpiece to the public in such a special festival?

– The show of ‘Hoi trung duong’ in Hanoi in such a spiritual time of history surely brings about unusual feelings for not only me but for everyone. Even though I’m from the South, there is no distinction between me and Hanoians. We are all children of the Fairy and the Dragon. ‘Hoi trung duong’ is my private work, on which I spent a lot of time. I’ll be very happy to see my “child” return to where the idea was formed.

In all honesty I might be the owner but there are 50 other artists and craftsmen that have contributed to the creation of this aodai.  When you see the aodai, you should not only see the work of the famous Vo Viet Chung but also of those who contributed, encouraged and supported me financially.

+ Is there any connection between your masterpiece and the Millennium Thang Long – Hanoi?

– I was taking part in a wedding fashion show organized by Travlelive in Hanoi last year, while traveling to Hanoi I read an excellent piece by Huynh Van Nghe.  It read, “Who travels to the North/Visiting Lac Hong home country/Since enlarging the country by swords/Vietnam mourned over Thang Long”. This had an emotional affect on me and urged me to return to the birthplace of our nation. One could also find a connection in the 1000 year Thang Long and the 1000-meter-long aodai, with its 9 laps and flying dragon decorations. I think there is a link between the present and the past.

+ You have traveled to many countries all over the world.  What impresses you most about Hanoi?

-Hanoi is the cradle of the national culture. I’m impressed by the many ancient cultural values. At first, it felt strange but now it’s different.  You’ll notice that I will spending a lot more time in Hanoi than in Ho Chi Minh City.  At the end of last year, I opened a showroom in Hanoi. Now when I travel to Hanoi it should be said that I’m coming back rather than I’m visiting.




more ao dais!

August 24, 2010

ao dai – isabelle du

June 19, 2010

-in 2007 she tested into not one but TWO colleges with the highest possible entrance exam scores

– valedictorian, teen model, MC, TV host, Miss Hot VTeen 07

– spokesperson of a couple handful of products

– photoshoot by famous photographer Louis Wu



Back to school: Two young women wear ao dai. The Hue-based charity, the Ao Dai Association, besides helping poor girls study and get vocational training, is also trying to encourage them to wear the traditional Vietnamese ao dai. — VNS File Photo

HUE CITY — Many poor bright girls in Thua Thien–Hue Province will soon receive financial support for continuing their education while others will get vocational training from a new charity that has been established by women in Hue.

The Ao Dai (traditional long dress) Association, established last week, is now working to raise funds.

“Our association has been formed with the aim of respecting and preserving traditional Vietnamese cultures and lifestyles in general, and Hue’s culture in particular,” the country’s former deputy president, Nguyen Thi Binh, also the association’s honorary chairwoman, said.

Along with scholarships of VND1 million, it has also gifted an ao dai to 20 high school students living in remote districts like Huong Long and Thuy Bieu.

“I dreamed of wearing a new ao dai to school,” Ho Thi Ngoc Quy, who studies at the Hai Ba Trung School in Thuy Bieu Commune, said.

“Thanks to the Ao Dai Association, my dream has comes true. I will try my best to complete my studies,” added the 15-year-old girl, who, together with her younger siblings, earn money after school to support their parents.

A member of the association’s executive board, fashion designer Nguyen Minh Hanh of HCM City, said providing a “better life to poor girls is also our duty.”

The association will provide free training courses in sewing to poor girls so that they can find stable jobs.

The association and its partners, the Thua Thien-Hue Province Women’s Union and the HCM City Women’s Union, have organised dozens of cultural and charity activities to raise money.

It has more than 200 members, many of them local officials and well-known artists. — VNS