|Poise: Professional and young models display a collection by designer Minh Hanh. — VNS Photo Pham Trung Kien
HA NOI (VNS) — Women of all shapes, sizes and ages will gracefully showcase ao dai during a fashion show held tonight at the Temple of Literature in honor of the traditional Vietnamese gown.
The free event, Our Ao Dai, will celebrate Vietnamese Women's Day and the beauty all women radiate while wearing ao dai. It will start at 8pm, and visitors who wear ao dai will be given lotuses from the southern province of Dong Thap.
Veteran and emerging designers from across the country will show off 300 dresses in their latest collections. The 17 designers exhibiting their work include veterans like Minh Hanh and Lan Huong, and younger clothing artists like Quang Nhat and Ngoc Han. Diego Cortizas of Spain, owner of the Chula brand, will join them.
Many designers find inspiration in the lotus, a flower they believe symbolises the beauty, elegance and tolerance of Vietnamese women.
In different materials, they also depict Ha Noi through images of architecture, daisy of autumn, night life and the Old Quarter.
The event will draw participation of 50 professional models, 20 middle-age models and 50 children. All of them volunteer to perform, no reward, as they want to join hands to pervade beauty of Viet Nam's traditional costume, said director Quang Tu.
Music by pianist Pho An My, band Co La and singer Le Cat Trong Ly will accompany the fashion show.
During the festival, 40 children living in Ha Noi will dress in ao dai and paint pictures of the capital. The Temple of Literature will then display their paintings.
Designer Ngoc Han said that though this is not the first time she has designed ao dai, it is a special project for her because she grew up in Ha Noi.
She said her collection was inspired by the Temple of Literature, a solemn historical site in the heart of the capital. She combines images of Ha Noi like Tortoise Tower and Sword Lake with lotus flowers.
"I feel excited and highly enthusiastic in my work, as the collection is created for a special occasion: celebrating Vietnamese Women's Day. Seeing women in ao dai, I always have a feeling that they are elegantly beautiful," she said. "I believe that after the fashion show, all women in different ages and stature should be more confident to wear ao dai."
Duong Thi Xuan, 57, a retired Viet Nam Women's Union official, will join 20 amateur middle-aged models performing in the fashion show.
"Despite our old age, other members of the union and I are enthusiastic about the union's activities," she said. "The festival honours the beauty of ao dai and Vietnamese women, so we all feel proud." — VNS