Priscilla Kibbee

I love to travel all over the globe shopping for textiles to add to my wearable art. I have taught quilting to school children in Nepal, seminole patchwork to seamstresses in Thailand, and jackets and embellishment to quilters in Turkey where I also served as a judge at 2 of their International Quilt Shows. I have created garments for 5 Fairfield and Bernina Fashion Shows and teach classes on embellishment and wearable art. Lately I have been leaning more toward making art quilts.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ao Dai - Traditional Vietnamese Dress

I am packing for a trip to Asia--Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand and am getting in my "Asian mode"...whatever that is. On recent trips I have been more or less mourning the loss of women wearing the traditional Vietnamese Dress ...the Ao Dai.
The Áo Dài is one of the most elegant and beautiful dresses for women. It’s very simple, consisting of a close-fitting blouse, with long panels in the front and back, that is worn over loose white trousers.

Every girl in Vietnam has at least one Áo Dài, as it's not expensive to make. Whenever they wear Áo Dài, because of the long trousers, high heel sandals or shoes are pretty much a must, and they make the girls look taller. The traditional color of trousers is white, but now many colors are acceptable. The Áo Dài is worn on occasions like engagement or wedding ceremonies, contract signing ceremonies or any special event. Áo Dài is used as an uniform at some offices, airlines or shops etc., and the white Áo Dài is also the uniform of Vietnamese school girls although even that is changing and they are wearing standard Asian school uniforms. Currently you will see this dress more often in southern Vietnam, where the weather is warm throughout the year. There are many Áo Dài shops where one could rent an Áo Dài for a day if needed. Over the years that I have been visiting Vietnam I am seeing less and less of these dresses.

If you would like to see a modern Vietnamese fashion show check out this Youtube clip:

Sorry, its in Vietnamese but it doesn't matter.

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