Pantaloons Femina Miss India Universe 2008 Simran Kaur Mundi sports the traditional Vietnamese costume for the Ao Dai Show More Pics

Pantaloons Femina Miss India Universe 2008, Simran Kaur Mundi, is doing great at the ongoing Miss Universe contest at Nha Trang, Vietnam.

The beauty pageant is heading towards a grand finale — which is on July 14 — to be hosted by Jerry Springer and Spice girl, Mel B. “I just hope to keep up the momentum. I will give it my best,” avers Simran, who’s already been placed among the top five in three sub-competitions: the National Costume round, Ao Dai Show and the Swimwear Show.

And this time around, there’s a change in the format of the beauty pageant. The National Costume winner will be selected on the basis of an online poll. So, here’s your chance to participate in this event. Just log on to http://www.nbc.com, and vote for Simran now. Your vote can help Simran get the crown home, for, the more sub-contests she wins, the brighter her chances of winning the Miss Universe 2008 crown!

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Youth Friends Ship calls on Vietnam
12:11′ 30/11/2007 (GMT+7)
VietNamNet Bridge – The Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) will dock at Sai Gon Port on the first of December for a four-day stay in the city as part of its 2007 voyage.

Vietnamese youth participants in the 2007 SSEAYP wear traditional dresses (ao dai)

Some 319 young passengers from 11 Asian countries will have a chance to tour Viet Nam’s southern metro, take part in cultural-exchange activities with city youths and home-stay programs with local families.

This is the eighth time the ship Nippon Maru has sailed to Viet Nam. It has sailed to Sai Gon Port seven times and to Da Nang once.

Viet Nam is the final stop of Nippon Maru before it returns to Japan at the end of its voyage.

This year, Viet Nam has 29 youth participants in the ship and they spent most of their time introducing international friends to the country’s traditional dress (ao dai) and its famous Ha Long Bay.

The annual program started in 1974 based on a joint statement issued in the same year by Japan and five Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Since 2000, the program, mainly funded by the Japanese government, has expanded to 11 ASEAN countries.

In the SSEAYP, more than 300 participants from Japan and Southeast Asian countries live together on board for about 50 days and visit the participating countries.

Activities on board include discussions, cultural introductions, sports, recreational and club activities. Activities in the ports of call include exchanges with the local youths, home-stay programs, visits to various facilities, and volunteer activities.

The purpose of this program is to promote friendship and mutual understanding among youths of Japan and Southeast Asian countries, to broaden their perspective on the world, strengthen their abilities in international cooperation through discussions and various exchange activities both on-board and in the countries visited. Participants are expected to progress to leadership positions in their own countries.

(Source: SGGP)

Vietnam : Duong Hoai Ao dai, distinctly different
January 19, 2008

Duong Hoai Thuong, the budding Vietnamese fashion designer, recently, launched her latest fashion collection of traditional long–dress, Ao Dai.

However, this collection is different from traditional ones as she has used outlandish designs and materials.

Instead of using silk, the traditional fabric for Ao dai, Duong Hoai Thuong has utilized denim for her creations. In addition, she added different patterns on each dress, with embellishments like natural stones and glass beads.

According to the designer, these styles are going to create ripples in the fashion arena of Vietnam. After wearing these dresses, the young ladies would surely feel comfortable as well as stylish. At the same time, the elegant look of the attire is definitely going to mesmerize its viewers.

Fibre2fashion News Desk – Vietnam
Local students attend cultural exchange festival in Thailand
Vietnamese students dressed in the traditional Ao dai at the cultural exchange festival held at Thailand’s Rajabhat University

A delegation of Ho Chi Minh City students is participating in a 10-day international exchange festival in Surin, Thailand, along with students from 16 other countries.

At this year’s gathering, titled “International Folklore Festival,” Vietnamese attendees will introduce their country’s traditional activities through dance and fashion performances and a cultural seminar, said group leader Pham Minh Man.

Expected highlights include a fashion display of Ao dai, Vietnam’s traditional dress, and a cultural presentation about Vietnamese bamboo.

Students from Switzerland, Italy, France, the Philippines, Laos and Cambodia will also participate in the festival, organized annually by Thailand’s Rajabhat University.

Reported by Manh Khoi

Gargantuan ‘ao dai’ commemorates history, tradition
17:09′ 25/01/2008 (GMT+7)

The patterns on “Hoi Trung Duong” ao dai

VietNamNet Bridge – Vo Viet Chung, the first Vietnamese fashion designer to be introduced by international fashion channel Fashion TV, has a big surprise for fans and audiences with her project to design an ao dai with 1,000m of cloth.

Hoi Trung Duong, the name of this giant ao dai, will be made to celebrate the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi capital and will be in the Vietnam Record Book. Chung said the ao dai will be completed in June 2008. So far, it is half finished and has already cost VND1 billion.

“When I attended a training course in Italy in 2001-2002, I saw a night gown by a European designer that was 100m long. I thought to myself, I will do that with a Vietnamese ao dai, and in early 2007 I began working on the project,” Chung said.

Chung said it will be traditional, featuring nine flying dragons on the laps, which symbolize the nine rivers in the Mekong Delta. She is using 1,000m of cloth, commemorating the 1,000 year old capital of Hanoi. Looking at the ao dai, one can see Thang Long – Ha Noi in its flying dragons, the Mekong Delta in the water and clouds and practically feel the memory of the former capital Hue in the Nguyen-dynasty based patterns. He named this ao dai Hoi Trung Duong – rediscovering history.

“However, as I’m a southern man, you can see the silhouette of Queen Nam Phuong as well, if you look at it carefully,” he said.

The materials are also worth mentioning. “I used materials from the three regions of Vietnam. Van Phuc and Ha Dong silk represent the north. The central region contributes Da Nang and Lam Dong silk while Tan Chau and My A silk are Southern specialties. These traditional materials will be ornamented with modern silk, Phuoc Thinh,” the designer explained.

Over 20 skilled embroiders are working on this project and each of them specialize in a single task. Some make dragon heads; others work on dragon bodies and waves, water, etc.

The key elements of this ao dai are being produced at Vo Viet Chung shop and the remainder is allocated to various groups of artisans. Chung’s assistant, an experienced artisan, supervises each separate part. After each part is complete, Chung will assemble them to make the final product.

Chung said that to make this giant ao dai, he had to ardently research embroidery techniques. He uses typical colors of the Nguyen Dynasty, red, deep blue, indigo and purple.

The question is how the ao dai will be presented. Chung said he is making it for the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long – Ha Noi in 2010. “I’ve received many invitations to display it at exhibitions, but I haven’t made a final decision yet,” he said.

“I will bring this ao dai to an exhibition in France for the Vietnam Cultural Week to represent Vietnam’s cultural heritage. After that Hoi Trung Duong will be introduced in Vietnam for the 1,000th anniversary of Thang Long – Hanoi,” Chung added.

(Source: TTO)

Fashion and light show at Hoan Kiem Lake for New Year’s Eve

A design by Minh Hanh to be on show at Hoan Kiem Lake.

Nhan Dan Online- A special programme combining light effects, music and fashion named “Hanoi – a City of Peace, Hoan Kiem Lake – a Shining Pearl” will be performed at the Ngoc Son Temple and Hoan Kiem Lake during the New Year’s Eve.

The programme is jointly organised by the French Embassy, the Vietnam Textile Corporation (Vinatex) and the Vietnam Television.

During a press conference recently held in Hanoi, the organisers said that French artist Alain Pierre Hubert, who has worked in Vietnam on previous Hue Festivals, will perform a special smoke and light effect at Ngoc Son Temple, making up an image of dove as Hanoi is named a city of peace. Two collection of Vietnamese traditional long dress (ao dai) and overcoat for ao dai by Vietnamese leading designer Minh Hanh and young designer Quang Huy.

Music will be performed by violinist Bui Cong Duy, pianist Trinh Huong and the Co La band featuring items imbued with Vietnam national identity.

French Ambassador to Vietnam Herve Bolot said although the programme will only last for 30 minutes welcoming the very first moment of the lunar New Year, it bears a very meaningful message on the preservation of traditional culture, looking towards the future in the integration and development.

The programme will be broadcast on channel 1, 3 and 4 of the Vietnam Television at 10.30pm on February 6 (the New Year’s Eve).

Korean TV show creates giant ao dai
13:41′ 19/02/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Korean television producers have wrapped up shooting a video segment on the giant ao dai (traditional dress) created by Vietnamese designer Vo Viet Chung.

The Korean TV show Global News, which airs on the Korean KBS World Channel on Sunday, will feature the ao dai, made with 1,000m of fabric.

Programme director Ra Seung-jong said the show would be presented in English and Korean on the Korean channel, which airs internationally.

Designer Chung said he was proud of presenting Vietnam’s cultural heritage to the world.

The ao dai was made with My A silk and embroidered with many kinds of threads, including gold, silk and synthetic fibres, by skilled craftspeople.

Chung also used 10,000 kinds of precious stones for decorating the ao dai with designs featuring nine flying dragons, which symbolise the nine major rivers of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta.

He said he hoped that with such designs on the ao dai, foreigners would understand the Vietnamese country, history and culture.

Chung, however, said that he was still having difficulty in finding money to finish the dress, and hoped to receive more support from State agencies and patrons.

Chung also expects to show the ao dai in an exhibition in France during the Viet Nam Cultural Week beginning on June 20, and hopes that it will be listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The ao dai will be sold at an auction in France after the exhibition ends.

(Source: Viet Nam News)

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