The making of the ceremonial costume and the special gift for leaders at the APEC Vietnam 2017 shows the quintessence of traditional crafts from the host country.
The heads of state attending APEC 2017 were made to wear a long-sleeve shirt, which is made of Vietnamese best quality silk. The shirt, designed by Nguyen Thi Thu Ha and tailored by Do Manh Hung, is hand-weaved and hand-dyed by artisan Nguyen Trong Tu, using his family’s traditional, secret technique.
The unique dying and weaving technique bring a sharp colour to the costume, which are available in two colours, deep blue and ivory white. Traditional Vietnamese silk also ensures a comfort and ventilation for wearers in the tropical heat of central Vietnam.
The shirt’s buttons are carved with 21 modified sun rays, representing 21 APEC economies. The sun rays are interlocked into a ring to symbolise the close connection and solidarity of APEC. Inside the ring features stylised images of oars and lac birds, a symbol found on ancient Dong Son bronze drum, aiming to highlight Vietnam’s rich and long-standing culture.
The shirt is wrapped in a box, which is made from bamboo – a popular material of Vietnamese people. To make the box, bamboo is carefully processed and flattened to ensure the reliability and aesthetics of the material.
The original colour of bamboo is kept for the box, creating a natural touch for the design. The name of the leader is engraved onto a piece of bronze, which is attached on the box. On the surface of the box is decorated with a lotus, which is inspired from the pattern found in Thang Long Royal Citadel.
The gift bag is made from a unique type of silk with the APEC logo being embroidered, highlighting the solemnity of the uniform.
21 APEC Economic Leaders, dressed in Vietnamese silk shirts, and their spouses took a family photo together on the evening of 10 December, in Da Nang. (Photo: apec2017.vn)
Meanwhile, a jade cup, a product of Minh Long 1 Co., Ltd., was chosen as the official gift by the Government to leaders at APEC 2017. On top of the cup sits a yellow lotus bud, referring to the continuous development of a country.
The dominant decorative pattern used in the cup is lotus – the Vietnamese national flower which represents purity and nobility. The cup is also blended with festoons of flowers and leaves of fern, the earliest botanical species on earth.
The upper part of the cup is adorned with a Vietnamese dragon while the symmetric other side is the logo of APEC.
On the foot of the cup are three sculptures of the mascot of Vietnam’s Ly and Tran dynasties, which is a fusion of the dragon and phoenix. The three sculptures are sheered with 24K gold, standing out in the background colour of cobalt blue.
Through products of the country’s traditional crafts, Vietnam’s culture is spotlighted at APEC 2017 while conveying the Vietnamese President’s sincere blessing towards the international guests.NDO