Ao dai shows fail to impress

Update: April, 19/2014 - 08:59

Phuoc Buu

Lacking new flair: An ao dai fashion show at the ongoing Hue Festival failed to live up to their "hot" billing. — VNA/VNS Photo

THUA THIEN-HUE (VNS)— One of the most awaited events at the ongoing Hue Festival, the ao dai fashion show, ended on Thursday evening with the audience less impressed than in previous years.

This year's edition of the the biennial cultural event held in the former royal capital city of Hue had two ao dai fashion shows on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

The shows did not attract a lot of people, with only the central stand nearly full. Half of the seats in the central stand were designated for people with invitations.

The shows were conducted on the colourfully illuminated stage used for the opening ceremony of the Hue Festival. The shortcomings of this were evident, with audiences unable to see the actors and models clearly.

"I could not see the gestures by the models and the ao dai designs were not very clear," said Yu Nhi, adding that she was left with the feeling that the shows highlighted the stage rather than the dress.

This year's shows represented collections of ao dai themed on the cultural identity of the countries who have sent art troupes to participate in the festival, including Russia, France, the Netherlands, Japan, China, Laos and Cambodia.

However, the collections failed to present anything new or original in the design of ao dai. All the costumes looked similar, with their only distinguishing feature being the patters printed on them.

Le Chi Thoang, another member of the audience, said he did not expect to see similar designs of ao dai at the shows.

Just having different printed patterns was not creative enough, he said.

Several local residents remarked that the national costume should have been attached to nostalgic scenes featuring rivers and boats, countryside and lotus flowers, or old walls and buildings of Hue City.

They said the previous festivals had succeeded in giving the dress its original setting.

The general feeling of experts and other observers has been that there have been no breakthroughs in this year's edition of the Hue Festival, which is being held for the eighth time in 16 years.

They also expressed concern that the similarity of events and the lack of new ideas in its organisation could see the festival's appeal decrease in coming years.

Researcher Nguyen Huu Thong suggested that there should be several festivals held all year round with different themes rather than an all-in-one festival. — VNS