October 10, 2007
|Fashion TV to feature ao dai collections|
|16:24′ 22/08/2007 (GMT+7)|
VietNamNet Bridge – For the first time, international fashion channel Fashion TV will feature Vietnamese fashion: ao dai (traditional dress) collections by leading designer Vo Viet Chung.
Award-winning designer Vo Viet Chung said he himself was quite surprised when he first learned his collections would appear on Fashion TV. “I was chosen since according to Michael Gleissner, Fashion TV’s Asia Director, my ao dai collections are really special.
Each ao dai has its own story to tell. And through these collections, he said he saw their designer’s love of his country,” said Vo Viet Chung. The collections to be featured are award-winning Co Ba xu Viet (Vietnamese Girl); Phuong Sai Gon (Saigon Phoenix), which has recently appeared on Charming Vietnam 18 in Singapore; and (Suc song) Vitality.
Vo Viet Chung said he was confident these collections would impress. “I know I will appear on Fashion TV not only as an individual designer, but also to represent Vietnamese fashion and people. So I won’t miss any opportunity to promote my home country’s image, culture and people.
“I want the world to know more about Vietnam. I want to affirm that Vietnamese fashion has its own place in the international fashion world,” said he. Vo Viet Chung will certainly have a great opportunity to introduce Vietnam to international viewers during the three-part programme.
Part 1 will feature an interview with Vo Viet Chung and the young designer at work. In Part 2 and Part 3, various collections will be showcased. The film team arrived yesterday afternoon in HCM City for a three-day shoot.
Vo Viet Chung’s ao dais will be worn by leading domestic models as well as an international one, Laury Prudent, from Miami, the US. Asked what made her want to take part in the programe, Laury Prudent said she had long been captivated by the grace of the Vietnamese traditional dress.
“So knowing that I would have a chance to wear ao dais, I decided to accept the offer without hesitation,” said he.
(Source: LD, NLD)
Vietnamese collection to star on fashion TV channel
Young designer Vo Viet Chung’s collection of traditional Vietnamese satin will be on the catwalk early next month on Fashion TV (fTV), an international TV channel.
Titled Co Ba Xu Viet (Ms Ba from Viet Country), the collection features Vietnamese ao dai (traditional dress) made from My A satins, high-quality materials produced only in the Cuu Long (Mekong) province of An Giang that have been popular in Viet Nam for hundreds of years.
Chung, the first Vietnamese designer invited to show his work on fTV, is one of Viet Nam’s most popular fashion designers, known in both Viet Nam and abroad for designs that are infused with national identity.
The most outstanding feature of his collections is the harmonious combination between the modern, youthful style and traditional beauty to enhance the elegance and charm of those who wear them.
The production crew of fTV arrived in HCM City on Tuesday to work with Chung for the show, which will include an interview with the designer.
“I’m both surprised and happy that my collection will be introduced on fTV,” the 32-year-old said.
Before Chung’s collection was selected, several ranking officials from fTV had spent time studying the Vietnamese fashion industry and local young designers.
“With my collection to be shown on fTV, I believe that Vietnamese fashion will soon have a place in international fashion circles,” Chung said.
Chung’s Ms Ba from Viet Country collection will be displayed by well-known model and actress Laury Prudent from the US and several top Vietnamese models, including Chung Thuc Quyen, Kim Cuong and Binh Minh.
“I’m charmed by the beauty and elegance of ao dai,” Prudent said. ” I wanted to go to Viet Nam immediately when I was told I would wear ao dai for fTV featuring Chung’s collection,” she said.
Chung began his fashion career in 1995, designing costumes for the theatre at the Institute for Cultural Exchange with France (IDECAF). In 1997, Chung won a top prize at Japan’s Makuhari Fashion Competition for Asian young designers.
The designer rose to fame after restoring My A satin and Tan Chau silk, two traditional Vietnamese materials made in Tan Chau craft village in An Giang.
Chung used the same fabrics for many of his collections which have been shown at fashion festivals in Viet Nam and in countries including Malaysia, China, Australia and New Zealand.
The designer was awarded the UNESCO insignia by the Viet Nam UNESCO Association last year for his efforts to preserve the rare traditional My A satin. — VNS
October 5, 2007
|Ao Dai – Vietnamese Plus Size Fashion Statement|
|Posted by Editors’ Choice|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2007|
|For exotic looks, ethnic fashions are wonderful alternatives for the plus size woman. For instance the the ao dai (pronounced “ow zai” in North Vietnam and, “ow yai” in South Vietnam), Vietnam’s national dress, has a styling that looks fabulous on almost anyone. It consists of two elements: a long tunic with a close-fitting bodice, mandarin collar, raglan sleeves, and side slits that create front and back panels from the waist down; and wide-legged pants, often cut on the bias.
While in the distant past both men and women wore the ao dai, in the twenty-first century it is almost exclusively a women’s garment. While the ao dai is now seen as symbolizing traditional Vietnamese identity and femininity, it in fact has a relatively brief history marked by foreign influence. The ao dai provides a outstanding example of how the Vietnamese have responded to both Chinese and French colonization by adopting elements of foreign cultures and modifying them to be uniquely Vietnamese. Prior to the fifteenth century, Vietnamese women typically wore a skirt and halter top. These were some times covered by an open-necked tunic (ao tu than) with four long panels, the front two tied or belted at the waist. Women’s garments were brown or black, accented by brightly colored tops or belts on special occasions.
From 1407 to 1428, China’s Ming Dynasty occupied Vietnam and forced women to wear Chinese-style pants. After regaining independence, Vietnam’s Le Dynasty (1428–1788) likewise criticized women’s clothing for violating Confucian standards of decorum. Since the policies were haphazardly enforced, and skirts and halter tops remained the norm.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Vietnam was divided into two regions, with the Nguyen family ruling the south. To distinguish their subjects from northerners, Nguyen lords ordered southern men and women to wear Chinese-style trousers and long, front-buttoning tunics. After the Nguyen family gained control over the entire country in 1802, the conservative Confucian Emperor Minh Mang banned women’s skirts on aesthetic and moral grounds.
Over the next century, precursors to the modern ao dai became popular in cities, at the royal court in Hue, and for holidays and festivals in the countryside. The outfit basically consisted of pants and a loose-fitting shirt with a stand-up collar and a diagonal closure that ran along the right side from the neck to the armpit, with some regional variations. These features of the ao dao were copied from Chinese and Manchu garments. The upper classes often layered several ao dai of different colors, with the neck left open to display the layers. Among peasants and laborers, however, the skirt (va) and halter top (yem) remained popular for daily wear.
During the 1930s Hanoi artist Nguyen Cat Tuong, also known as Lemur, presented ao dai styles inspired by French fashion. He designed them with light-colored, close-fitting tunics featured longer panels, puffy sleeves; asymmetrical lace collars, buttoned cuffs, scalloped hems, and darts at the waist and chest. Lemur’s Europeanized flared pants were white with snugly tailored hips. Criticized by conservatives, Lemur’s designs nonetheless marked the materialization of contemporary ao dai blending traditional Vietnamese elements with Western tailoring and bodily aesthetics.
French colonialism ended in 1954 with the division of Vietnam into North and South. In North Vietnam,
Meanwhile, in capitalist South Vietnam, modifications of the garment continued. Madame Nhu the sister-in-law of President Ngo Dinh Diem, became notorious in the 1950s and 1960s for the very plunging necklines of her ao dai.
In 1975, the Vietnam War ended with the reunification of North and South under communist rule. Leaders derided the southern ao dai as decadent and promoted simpler, practical clothing styles. But austerity proved short-lived. By the 1990s, economic reforms and improved standards of living led to a revival of the ao dai within Vietnam and to growing international awareness of it as a symbol of Vietnamese identity. In 1989, the Women’s Newspaper in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) hosted the first Miss Ao Dai contest. Six years later, Miss Vietnam’s blue brocade ao dai won the prize for best national costume at Tokyo’s Miss International Pageant. Simple white ao dai have been reinstated in many cities and towns as uniforms for female high school students, while Vietnam Airlines flight attendants wear red ao dai.
The ao dai has also inspired non-Asian designers. Following the 1992 films “Indochine” and “The Lover”, both set in the French colonial period, Ralph Lauren, Richard Tyler, Claude Montana, and Giorgio Armani presented ao dai–inspired collections. While “Indo-Chic” fashions can be Orientalist in their celebration of a demure, sexy, and exotic Vietnamese femininity, they are typically welcomed in Vietnam as evidence that the ao dai has entered the canon of international fashion.
Some current designers employ novel fabrics, abstract motifs, and ethnic minority patterns, while others alter the tunic by opening necklines, removing sleeves, or replacing the long panels with fringe. The once scandalous white pants now seem outmoded, and women instead favor pants the same color as the tunic.
So the ao dia has an interesting history. But with the selections of materials and cuts, the ao dai allows the fashion-conscious plus size woman to be simultaneously trendy and fabulous throughout the year and on special occasions.
About the Author: