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Temple of Literature to host áo dài festival

Update: February, 22/2016 - 13:53
People's Artist Trà Giang always dresses in áo dài to attend major events. — Photo
HÀ NỘI (VNS) — Veteran artists who symbolise Vietnamese beauty will perform in a festival that will be held at Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám (Temple of Literature) from March 1 to 4.

The festival aims to honour female beauty on International Women's Day that falls on March 8. Nineteen designers from across the country will present their latest collection of áo dài inspired by various flowers.

"Each flower has its own meaning. Designers chose a flower for their áo dài collection themselves to express their respect for women," designer Minh Hạnh said.

"At this festival, people will see the collections designed for all people, including old women and men, children and the disabled," Hạnh said.

Hà Nội-based designer Đỗ Trịnh Hoài Nam has chosen the Antigone flower for his 20-model collection. The Antigone collection is made of silk, tussore and taffeta, with patterns of flowers and butterflies.

People's Artist Như Quỳnh will perform áo dài at the festival held from March 1-4 at Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám. — Photo

"All flowers are very beautiful. I think Antigone has a mysterious beauty," designer Nam said. "The festival of áo dài will be a story of flowers. My Antigone flower áo dài collection will tell a love story that has ups and downs in the emotions between lovers."

The áo dài collection by the 19 designers will be held at the Temple of Literature, which was built in 1070 by King Lý Thánh Tông who dedicated it to Confucius. It is regarded as the first university of Việt Nam.

Lanterns and candles will be lit from the Văn Miếu – Quốc Tử Giám's main gate to Thiên Quang Well (Well of Heavenly Clarity) in the third courtyard during the festival.

About 50 young girls from Việt Nam Women's Academy, dressed in áo dài, will welcome visitors and present them fresh and beautiful lotuses. The highlight of the áo dài show on the night of March 4 will be the ramp walk of Trà Giang, Thanh Tú, Như Quỳnh and Italian ambassador Cecilia Piccioni.

The artists, who are 70 to 80 years old, still represent the beauty of Vietnamese women. They have worn áo dài in daily life and on screen many times, but this is the first time the well-known artists will wear áo dài as models.

A design from Antigone flower áo dài collection by Đỗ Trịnh Hoài Nam. — Photo Minh Sơn

"I'm happy to wear áo dài as a model on stage. But I'm also nervous because I'm now 74 years old with a body that is not in good shape," People's Artist Trà Giang said. "It is an anxious time, but also a happy one."

She thinks Vietnamese áo dài is the most beautiful and elegant wear. She always dresses in áo dài to attend major events. When she was young, she kept a large space in her wardrobe for áo dài.

Actress Thanh Tú thought she had been invited by the festival organisers to be a juror at the áo dài show, and not to wear and perform while wearing áo dài.

"To speak the truth, I hesitated to agree. But I think áo dài is not just meant for young people or any individual. It is for everybody whether they be fat or thin, tall or short," Thanh Tú said.

"One thing áo dài does is help to cover the wearers' physical imperfections," 72-year old Tú said.

The áo dài festival at Văn Miếu-Quốc Tử Giám from March 1 to 3 is open to all people. The áo dài performance on the night of March 4 will be broadcast live on Hà Nội Television. — VNS

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