The genesis of Ao Dai

So far, no one can accurately identify the genesis of áo dai has become attached always to Vietnamese women. According to archaeologists, the áo dai picture with two long tails to the wind is already found in the tables engraved on the ancient Ngoc Lu bronze drums, Hoa Binh, Hoang Ha, the bronze tower Đao Thinh, there are three thousand years.

According to legend, Two Ladies Trưng wore áo dài of two gold-framed, with golden parasol, on the elephant back in battles. Afterwards, to honor the Vietnamese women avoid wearing dresses with four sides instead of two.The Vietnamese women from north to south, all wore skirts and dresses with four sides. Currently, this skirt is then seen only in some areas in the Red River Delta and the four-sided dress is still the costume of popular artists groups. The áo dai symbol of Vietnamese, yet has a different genesis. Many wonder: since when is there Leao Vietnamese dai? In history, the conflict between the Trinh and Nguyen lasted for nearly 200 years. In the North, King Le, Trinh lord reigned. In the South, the Nguyen lords, apparently submitted by Le, Phu Xuan actually took for the capital of Đàng Trong (southern region) for their work imperishable. In 1847, the people will hear a prophecy: "Bát đại thời Trung Hoan Đô" That means back eight generations later, in the capital (known as Thang Long). The prophecy worried Nguyen Phuc Khoat. Because it has been eight generations since the first Lord (said Nguyen Hoang) to him. Nguyen Phuc Khoat worried because it is a disaster to go before the Trinh in the capital, after 200 years of war against the other, with such great difficulties to expand the nation to Ca Mau. Day and night, he could not eat or sleep. Finally, he gathered all his subjects to discuss the solution. The best solution, according to his subjects, was to proclaim himself emperor and form a new capital. But for the new kingdom to change fate, we had to change the ceremonies culture but above all the costumes. Nguyen Phuc Khoat accepted it and handed the mission to the mandarins.

Since then, Phuc Khoat ascended the throne under the title Vo Vuong Xuan Phu took for the capital. The ceremonies in the yard and customs among the people were all changed. To distinguish women wearing skirts North, South wore those pants (legs) as men. The policy of Vo Vuong caused a costume crisis in Phu Xuan. Women do not accept and showed against violently. Protesting helplessly to change the "royal will," since they were wearing pants. Yet with a feudal spirit, Vo Vuong finding that women were too suggestive with pants, asked the mandarins to create the current áo Vietnamese dai as the áo dai Cham (not split) and that of women in Shanghai (split knee). The first áo dài resembled that of Ham, and it is split. As Vietnamese culture developed in Hue, the áo dai Vietnamese women has both the northern and southern parts.

Formerly, kings, for the interest of their class and family, gave options against tradition, against the nation, which were abolished by the people. Fortunately, the two trouser legs and áo dai Vietnam, although created in such situations go well with the size of Vietnamese and enhance the beauty of women from the North as well as South. They have thus become a cultural asset of Vietnamese.

Until the early twentieth century, most áo dai worn by urban women have five sides. Each pan before or behind a two webs of related lateral edge. And it only added the fifth band right ahead. The sleeves were linked at the elbows. If the skirts and sleeves were linked, it is because good fabrics like silk veil ... brocade were once just 40 centimeters wide. The neck, sleeves and torso often stick to the body, the pan was not restricted to the sides and then expanded to the edges. The borders were often wide, 80 centimeters but the pass was only 2 or 3 centimeters high.

For the years 1930-1940, the shape of áo dai has not changed much but the urban women began to wear the most illuminating colors, imported from Europe. The hem of áo dài this period was often extended to 20 centimeters of the ankle. From then until the end of the twentieth century, young girls all wore white pants with áo dai. The black trousers were reserved for married women. Some modelers of áo dai began to appear, but only March, repairing was removed for Western stuff was larger in size than that of the country. The sleeves were still knotweed. At that time, in Hanoi, the garment makers Cát Tường in Hang Da Hang district and some places Trong, Hang Bong were well known. In 1939, designer Cat Tuong introduced a new model of áo dai, quite westernized, called The Wall. The wall kept the shape of the ordinary áo dai, but the pass was in the form of heart or sometimes down collar with a forward node. The bulky shoulders were rekindled sleeves. The wall was seen as a bold move and it was made by worldly artists. But until 1943, this model fell into oblivion. Until the 1950s, people began to restrict the flanks. The tailors cut the cloth according to the body. The pan back was wider than before, especially the buttocks so that he shakes size without being restricted; the skirt was cut narrower, the highest and hem longer neck.

During the 1960s, the áo dai had most changed because the bra was longer used. We restricted the flanks and áo dai sometimes became very tight to meet the chest. It is split on the high side to show the edge of the pants. The skirts were longer, ankle, and a round neck.  

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, to adapt to short skirts, wide leg jeans to young hippies, the "mini áo dai" has emerged and it soon became the preferred mode. The flaps were more narrow and short, sometimes to the knees, the tunic was smaller but still tied at the waist; the cervix was lowest, 3 centimeters, the shoulders resembled those of a raglan chest and sleeves become tighter at the waist; the pants had the longest legs and 60 centimeters wide. Since then until 1990, there were not many changes from the tradition, if new models, such as the tunic and trousers were of the same color, but it was not popular ...

Currently, Vietnam, many modelers of áo dai, with lots of fabric material, seek to create new models ... New materials are often embellished fabrics by painting or borderie.

Yet all these changes stop in the material or ornamental motifs, the model always follows the old formula, that means it is not very different from that bears the statue of Ngoc Nu seventeenth century in the pagoda Dau, Thuan Thanh, Bac Ninh.

The áo dai has become an indispensable costume for Vietnamese women, without distinction between a diplomat and a visitor in Paris or New York or an athlete - receptionist at the Olympics. To the world at the sight of a woman áo dai, in any forum, it is immediately recognized without presenting Vietnamese.

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