Cỏ Lạ, a group playing traditional musical instruments, perform at the opening ceremony of the exhibition. Behind them is the long dress inlaid with gold and diamonds. — VNS Photo Minh Phương
HÀ NỘI — An exhibition showcasing áo dài (traditional long dress) designed exclusively for wedding events opened on Saturday in Hà Nội.
Designer Đỗ Trịnh Hoài Nam introduces the long dresses for a guest. — VNS Photo Bình Quách
Hosted by the Việt Nam Women’s Union, the exhibition displays a collection by designer Đỗ Trịnh Hoài Nam including a design inlaid with gold and diamonds. The dress, which costs VNĐ2.3 billion, has been inlaid by artisans from Kiêu Kỵ Village (Gia Lâm District) and embroidered by artisans in Thường Tín District, Hà Nội.
Some designs in the collection for wedding events of designer Đỗ Trịnh Hoài Nam.
“Artisans from Hàng Bạc Street stuck 40 diamonds on the velvet. I designed the dress, but all the craftspeople created the piece and brought the idea on paper to life,” said designer Nam.
“I use patterns inspired by royal costumes, I tried to make it to honour Vietnamese traditional values.”
Vietnamese people wear traditional long dresses at festivals, anniversaries and important events including weddings. Nam said the collection includes long dresses dedicated to brides and mothers of the brides and bridegrooms.
“As people often organise weddings in spring, it’s time for me to release this special collection,” he said.
Traditionally, apart from wedding ceremonies, families of the bride and the bridegroom also organise dạm ngõ (a proposal ceremony in which parents officially discuss the marriage) and ăn hỏi (an engagement ceremony). People wear different long dresses for these ceremonies.
Đỗ Thị Thu Thảo, vice head of the Việt Nam Women Union, speaks at the opening ceremony of the exhibition. — VNS Photo Bình Quách
“This time I focussed on long dresses for mothers because the costumes for the brides are so popular and inspired many designers, meanwhile the dresses for the mothers are often ignored, all designs for mothers in this collection are made from velvet and hand-embroidered,” he said.
"I think the exhibition is a good chance to promote the traditional long dresses as well as honouring the fine values of Vietnamese culture," Nam added.
The exhibition will run until March 30 at the Centre for Women and Development, 19 Thụy Khuê Street, Hà Nội. — VNS