Áo Dài is a Vietnamese national dress which praise the slender beauty of Vietnamese women. The charming beauty of a Vietnamese lady in Áo Dài has become a national symbol of Vietnam.
History of Áo Dài
The history of Áo Dài is the story of changes in Vietnamese people’s cultural life.
There is no clear evidence which say about where and when Áo Dài appear but thousands years ago, the image of Áo Dài has appeared in the Dong Son drum. It exists along with all daily activities of Vietnamese people.
Until Hung Vuong period, in the year of 40-30 A.D the Hai Ba Trung revolt which firstly was led by two women in Vietnam history got win and established an independent kingdom. According to historical documentary, Hai Ba Trung were wearing 2 flaps of gold armor with the gold parasol covered in the battle.
Vietnamese women avoid wearing the 2 flaps dress but Áo Tứ Thân (a four-paneled gown) to show their respect to Hai Ba Trung. Back then, they skilfully used natural colors from muddy on the bottom of pond to dye clothes, creating a simple dress.
From the 17th century to the early 20th century, under the feudal system, Vietnam society had formed many social classes. The women in the aristocratic class had make Áo Tứ Thân evolved into the Áo Ngũ Thân (five-paneled). Wearers displayed their prosperity by putting on multiple layers of fabric which at that time was costly.
The gown appears to have two-flaps with slits on both sides, features preserved in the later Áo Dài.
The modern Áo Dài
Áo Dài symbolizes the change in Vietnam’s society under the influence of Western culture at the beginning of the 20th century. Vietnamese fashion designer and writer Cat Tuong improved the Áo Dàiwith new details like lengthened the top so it reached the floor, moved the buttons from the front to an opening along the shoulder and side seam and fitted the bodice to the curves of the body.
After that time, the designers in Saigon tightened the fit to create the modern Áo Dài in 1950
Áo Dài nowadays is very prevalent with different designs and colors:
Áo Dài– a symbol of Vietnam
Nowadays, this traditional dress is usually worn during special occasions such as Tet, holidays or wedding. In addition to formal activities, Vietnamese people use it at work or at school as uniform
For visitors, the red of the Vietnam Airlines uniform creates a lasting memory as they travel.
Áo Dài is also appear in many beauty contest, the feminine beauty of Vietnamese women in Áo Dài has leaved a deep impression on international friends.