Vietnam’s traditional long dress, the Ao dai has made a reputation at fashion shows around the world, thanks in part to Vietnam’s skillful designers, who do their best to promote the dress to the world.
The beauty of women dressed in Ao dai makes a deep impression on foreign visitors to Vietnam. An Ao dai is custom fit to each customer's shape to create a 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 extending well above waist height make it comfortable and easy to move in. The Ao dai appears to flatter every figure.
"I’m very proud of the Vietnamese women’s traditional long dress. I have Ao dai with me on any trip to fashion shows abroad. The long dress is well tailored to combine both traditional and modern characteristics," said Minh Ngan, a designer for the Bella Moda fashion brand.
Minh Ngan’s collection of long dresses called “The old figure”, inspired by typical cultural features of Vietnam’s various regions in different historical periods, wowed foreign visitors to the 2018 Hue Festival.
Another designer, Ngo Nhat Huy, has been making Ao dai for 2 decades. His long dresses have been worn by many Vietnamese contestants taking part in international and domestic beauty pageants.
For Huy, this is a great way for him to promote Ao dai to the public. His latest collection called “The glorious period” was inspired by patterns found in the architecture of the imperial city of Hue.
"I’ve taken part in many fashion shows abroad and designed costumes for contestants at many beauty pageants. The Ao dai has a unique charm that draws the attention of passers-by during photo shoots on the streets of Paris or Brussels. I really want to contribute my efforts to promoting Ao dai to the world," said Huy.
"I’m very happy to see Vietnamese-US models wearing Ao dai at fashion shows in Washington, DC. They look so beautiful and charming in the traditional attire of Vietnamese women. I often accept invitations to display my collections at festivals promoting Ao dai," said designer Thieu Vi, who has taken part in many fashion shows promoting Ao dai in the US.
This year, Thieu Vi is working on a new collection of Ao dai for a festival in Japan.