Wednesday, 03/05/2017 15:08

Artistic áo dài show entertains Huế residents

Audiences excitedly captured the show. VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
Viet Nam News

by Phuoc Buu

THUA THIEN- HUE Vietnamese national costume ao dai still hasn’t lost its appeal despite the strong influence of modern fashion styles, and this was evident at a recent ao dai fashion show.

The show was held in Hue on Sunday evening as part of the Hue Craft Village Festival.

Thousands of people of different ages flocked to the city’s iconic bridge Truong Tien Bridge, where the show’s stage and stands for the audience were erected, to enjoy the much-awaited costume performances.

Months ago, Hue residents heard of the ao dai collections that showcased copies of paintings by Hue artists, both alive and deceased. These late painters included the country’s prominent silk painter Ton That Dao, well-known romantic style painter Dinh Cuong and self-trained painter Buu Chi.

This combination of ao dai and Hue’s beloved painters led to a new concept of performing arts, enthralling both fashion designers and local audiences.

"It was really challenging to work with painting themes on ao dai, particularly the silk paintings by late artist Dao," designer Hien Dang, who chose to work with paintings by famous late painter Ton That Dao, said.

"His paintings were inspiring but they had an unusual structure, making it hard to copy on the ao dai flaps," she said.

Meanwhile, the audience was extremely excited to see the paintings being presented for the first time ever on the beloved costume. The wait, however, challenged people’s patience.

Their patience though paid off as young local girls dressed in purple ao dai and white conical hats walked out from the centre of the bridge, accompanied with light and music, which charmed the audience. Notably, purple is the typical colour of Hue.

Songs by late composer Trinh Cong Son, also a Hue native, and live performances on the violin, Vietnamese two-string fiddle and pear-shaped lute led to an upbeat ambience during the presentation of collections showcasing the paintings of Ton That Dao and Dang Mau Tuu at the beginning and Dinh Cuong, Buu Chi at the end of the show.

Models wearing ao dai walked on the bridge and moved around the flower plants to come nearer to the audiences, making it seem as if the beautiful girls were walking in a peaceful, colourful garden.

"It was a good show. I felt that it was very good for an ao dai show. It was all very nice and the music was lovely," Nguyen Van Loi, a local, said.

Before and during the show, traffic on the bridge and at the crossroads at its southern end was blocked, with the empty roads decorated with Vietnamese conical hats and fresh flower plants, transforming the entire area into an open grand stage.

However, the decorations had their drawbacks, as the plants were arranged in density and some reached till the models’ waists. "Part of the beauty of the ao dai is its flap, but the plants blocked the view," a designer, who took part in the show but did not want to be named, said.

Further, many collections were unable to show their printed painting copies because of the plants, including the collection by designer Chula, a Spanish man working in the field in Ha Noi.

The density of the plants and the steep road from the end of the bridge to the crossroads also led to chaos as those who had booked seats in the rear could not see the models from behind and attempted to move to the front for a better view. VNS

Moments from the show captured through the lens of Viet Nam News’ photographers.

A combination of ao dai and colourful conical hats. VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
Joy from wearing ao dai walking in a flower garden. VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
Designer Quang Huy adopted vivid paintings by painter Dang Mau Tuu on his collection. VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
Ao dai printed with copies of late Ton That Dao’s silk paintings by designer Hien Dang. VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
Local girls dressed up in Hue’s purple ao dai opened the show. VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
A performance combined ao dai and lanterns in the Sunday evening show in Hue. VNS Photo Phuoc Buu

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