Vietnamese “Ao Dai” embarks on another journey

The Vietnamese “Ao Dai”, or long dress, has become famous throughout the world through various cultural performances. Over the past 2 years, the dress has taken on a new duty, in a new adventure.

In June 2005, the Ao Dai appeared in the US as part of ‘Vietnam Day in US’. In August 2005, the Ao Dai was present at the ‘Vietnam House’ in the World Expo hosted in Aichi, Japan, with more than 160 countries attending. In November the same year, the Vietnam Ao Dai collection visited Taj Bengal, India. In December, it was present at the ‘Vietnam Day’ in Singapore. In 2006, the Ao Dai attracted lots of attention when it was displayed at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. It also appeared in Hong Kong, Italy and Thailand.


The Ao Dai has received a warm welcome everywhere. Designer Sy Hoang, who was present at the opening ceremony of Ao Dai exhibition in San Jose Museum, was happy to see foreign women wearing Ao Dai to the exhibition. Ao Dai exhibits at the Aichi World Expo were always full of spectators.


Besides its cultural importance, the Ao Dai now also bears the responsibility of spurring the economy. “The gentle and smart Ao Dai emphasizes the image of a hospitable, active, renewed and open-minded Vietnam”, according to designer Minh Hanh. Meanwhile, designer Minh Khoa said he has a regular customer from Italy, and every now and then, she orders several Ao Dai dresses to wear during important events. Some even order Ao Dai as their wedding dress.


Professor Lydia Kamitsis from the French Sorbonne University said Vietnam’s Ao Dai is perfect, and can even represent Vietnam’s culture and identify. At the same time, while many other countries’ national dresses have appeared less often, Vietnam’s Ao Dai, appears more often, often used for everyday wear. It is ready to join the international fashion arena. Ao Dai is not a conservative concept, but can be developed according to the designers’ taste. As designer Minh Hanh says “The Ao Dai should be modern, representing an actively developing Vietnam

Women of Vietnam Review No 1/2007