Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Royal Citadel will show its grace thanks to lighting decorations and performances of áo dài (traditional long dress) during the Áo Dài Festival 2016.
The festival, comprising various cultural activities honouring Vietnamese áo dài, will take place on October 14 – 16 with the theme of The Quintessence of Áo Dài.
It will contribute to the preservation of traditional cultural values, develop the city’s tourism, and honour the creativity of designers and artists, said Đỗ Đình Hồng, director of the capital’s Department of Tourism.
“This year, the festival will be a rendezvous for áo dài lovers. All cultural activities focus on áo dài.”
“In comparison with previous years, this year’s festival will be much bigger,” he said.
Last year, the festival was a fashion show of áo dài with the participation of 19 designers. This year, 32 designers from Hà Nội, Huế and HCM City will join the event. They will also display their collections at booths around the site. Visitors can buy these outfits or request bespoke models from the designers.
While designer Ngọc Hân finds inspiration from Hàng Trống traditional paintings, Minh Hạnh creates áo dài based on paintings of the Old Quarter and streets in Bùi Xuân Phái (1921-88)’s artworks.
Vũ Trần Đức Hải named his collection ‘Hà Nội in 12 Flower Seasons’ as each month, the city plays host to a different flower.
“I imagine how Hà Nội would look in the different colours of flowers, how flowers decorate remarkable architecture and beauty spots in the city,” he said.
“The áo dài collection reflects lotus blooming at the One Pillar Pagoda, dracontomelum flowers on Trần Phú Street and the National Flag Tower, and flowers of mustard green on the banks of the Red River,” said Hải.
Apart from the áo dài fashion show, the festival will include exhibitions, an installation art space and cuisine performance.
Visitors will understand the history of Vietnamese áo dài through documents, photos, videos and collections of old áo dài provided by private collectors Trần Đình Sơn and Vũ Giỏi.
Artisans from Vạn Phúc Village (Hà Nội), Hà Giang Province, A Lưới District (Huế), and Hội An city will showcase their secrets of weaving and dying fabric.
Visitors can also enjoy cuisine from three regions created by Đoàn Thị Thu Thủy, top three Master Chef 2014 contest, and her co-workers. She will organise cooking classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
A concert of traditional musical instruments will be organised on Saturday night with the theme of The Borderless Áo Dài.
The festival is also for children with a painting contest on áo dài, traditional games and toy making classes.
The festival will be organised at the Royal Citadel, 9 Hoàng Diệu Street. Entrance is free. The event celebrates National Women’s Day (October 20). — VNS