Countries Traditional Dress Traditional Dress & Textiles Vietnam

Vietnamese Ao Dai

Ao Dai Hanoi Vietnam Cultural Costume

The Vietnamese Ao Dia is a high neck, slim fitting 5 panel dress, with side splits to the waist and generally worn with palazzo style trousers. It is the symbol of Vietnamese beauty and can be seen almost everyday in Vietnamese culture. It is often worn for formal and special occasions by women and girls of all ages.


Vietnamese Ao Dai Event

“Hanoi Connecting Five Continents” was a colorful event boasting traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai, music, dance and fashion. Staged outside in Ly Thai To Square in the hub of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, the event was to honour the 125th birth date of Vietnam’s revolutionary communist leader Ho Chi Minh. The department of culture and commerce wanted to celebrate Hanoi’s cultural diversity with a creative collaboration by combining Vietnamese and international fashion designers with it’s expatriate residents.

French, English, American, Russian, Australian, African, Spanish, and Vietnamese beauties proudly paraded down the catwalk in front of government officials, locals and curious tourists. It has been along time since I have done any modeling, probably over 10 years, but this was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Cross Cultural Collaboration

The renowned designer’s NtK Nhat Dung ( Vietnam) and Diego Cortizas of Chula (Spain) presented their contemporary interpretations of the traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai.  Both designers collections were  inspired by Vietnams rich and exuberant artistic aesthetics. They applied an assortment of textile techniques such as hand painting, embroidery, beading and applique on a luxurious selection of multi colored silks, brocades and velvets. The designs themselves exhibited influences from Vietnamese ethnic hill tribes, french iron works and ceramic floor tiles.  

Nkt Nhat Dung Vietnamese Ao Dai with Yen Tran

Nkt Nhat Dung putting the finishing touches on model Yen Tran

Vietnamese Ao Dai by Ntk Nhat Dung

Gorgeous styling details by designer Ntk Nhat Dung

Models Yen and Katerina wearing Vietnamese Ao Dai

Me posing with my two favourite models Yen and Katerina

Morgan Ommer photography

Vietnamese Ao Dai photo by Morgan Ommer

Morgan Ommer

Vietnamese Ao Dai Photo by Morgan Ommer

With special thanks to my friends Hoang Minh Chau, Diego at Chula and Nhat Duong for making me feel beautiful, and Morgan Ommer for his lovely photos.

Contemporary Vietnamese Ao Dai by Ntk Nhat Dung

Traditional but Contemporary Vietnamese Ao Dai by Ntk Nhat Dung


It was 35 degrees in blazing sunshine,  I was slightly shell shocked and extremely sweaty after 6 hours of fittings, rehearsals, hair and make up, but all the other models, organisers and friends made it such a fun and memorable experience. I felt proud after two years of living in Hanoi to be offered such a special opportunity to wear  Vietnamese Ao Dai, the symbol of feminine beauty, and the pride of the Vietnamese people.


Have you tried on a Vietnamese Ao Dai? How do you think the Vietnamese National dress compares to other countries? Where are the best places to have Vietnamese Ao Dai made in Hanoi? I would love to hear from you, please share your experiences and recommendations in the comments box below.

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Useful Resources

Hanoi Connecting Five Continents (Vietnamese language)
Chula Fashion
Morgan Ommer Photography

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  • Milé Rubio
    May 19, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Wonderful post!! Love those pictures 🙂

    http://milerubio.com/
    xo Mile

  • Milé Rubio
    May 19, 2015 at 2:48 am

    Wonderful post!! Love those pictures 🙂

    http://milerubio.com/
    xo Mile

  • Stacy Harp
    May 22, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Their fashion i so colorful, the styles are different yet very similar. Wonderful pictures.

    • Donna Wanderlust
      May 22, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks Stacy, it’s was a get experience so I’m happy to share.

  • Stacy Harp
    May 22, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Their fashion i so colorful, the styles are different yet very similar. Wonderful pictures.

    • Donna Wanderlust
      May 22, 2015 at 6:13 pm

      Thanks Stacy, it’s was a get experience so I’m happy to share.

  • www.Kennysang.org
    July 5, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Ao Dai for All: Hanoi’s Cross Continental Cultural Show | Haute Culture
    is an excellent item of composing, I’m showing my good friends.

  • www.Kennysang.org
    July 5, 2015 at 6:04 am

    Ao Dai for All: Hanoi’s Cross Continental Cultural Show | Haute Culture
    is an excellent item of composing, I’m showing my good friends.

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