Female designer works to promote the charm of Vietnamese Ao Dai

With her great passion for Ao Dai (traditional Vietnamese long dress), designer Dang Thi Ngoc Han, who was crowned Miss Vietnam 2010, has worked to promote the charm of Ao Dai to the community.
Designer Dang Thi Ngoc Han (first from right) and her Ao Dai creations inspired from Hue royal court music. (Photo courtesy of designer Ngoc Han)

Since she graduated from the University of Industrial Arts, Ngoc Han has established her name at many prestigious fashion events and fashion weeks.

Han has found that she is most interested in working with Ao Dai. She can’t recall how many Ao Dai designs she has created, from Ao Dai for children to new experiments on traditional Ao Dai.

In 2019, Han introduced an Ao Dai collection inspired from UNESCO-recognised Nha Nhac (Hue royal court music), with the laps of the outfit featuring drawings on the intangible cultural heritage by painter Pham Trinh.

Her collection was debuted within an Ao Dai fashion show, hosted by the embassy of Vietnam in Saudi Arabia, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. Notably, the models at the event were the Vietnamese embassy’s staff and their children.

According to Han, it requires great patience and carefulness to turn a painting into fabric. After painter Pham Trinh completed his paintings for her Ao Dai collection, the paintings were then processed with computer graphics and adjusted, so that they could go well with accessories.

Each Ao Dai collection created by Ngoc Han tells a different story, including those in her experiments with new materials, such as jeans, brocade and hemp.

Designer Ngoc Han dressed in her Ao Dai creation, inspired from the national flag of France. (Photo courtesy of designer Ngoc Han)

Ngoc Han’s Ao Dai creations have also contributed to promoting cultural diplomacy, by bringing Vietnamese fashion and traditions closer to the world. In addition to being inspired by traditional Vietnamese culture, Han has also showed her talents by blending the cultures of foreign countries, such as France, Italy, and India, into her Ao Dai designs, which have generated nice surprises for fashion lovers.

Sharing her thoughts about Ao Dai, Han said that the Vietnamese outfit boasts elegant charm, from its form to designs of the sleeves and laps. Therefore, while working on Ao Dai, Han didn’t want to adapt dramatic changes on the traditional form of the outfit. Instead, she wanted to show her creativity in the patterns featured on the laps, the details and accessories for Ao Dai.

“Ao Dai is our heritage,” Han stressed, adding that by dressing in Ao Dai, Vietnamese women not only honour the heritage, but also bring the heritage into life.

As for Han, Ao Dai is more than a great source of inspiration, it also brings her joy as her way to serve the community. Han wants to create more beautiful and convenient Ao Dai designs for customers, thus encouraging people to wear Ao Dai more regularly.

Not only is she passionate about fashion and Ao Dai in particular, Ngoc Han has also actively participated in community activities. Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in 2021, Han joined other artists and celebrities, to cook free meals for child patients, doctors, medical staff, and frontline workers, in the COVID-19 fight.