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BackArts & Culture » Culture » Institute of Vietnamese Costumes Officially Opens in Saigon With Discussion on Áo Dài Lemur

Historical fashion enthusiasts might find the newly minted institute a choice destination to explore Vietnam’s past clothing trends.

As Thanh Nien reports, on October 14, the Institute of Vietnamese Costumes held an opening ceremony on-site at 29/9 DEF Nguyen Binh Khiem Street in District 1 of Saigon. At the launch, the institute presented a new áo dài collection by veteran designer Si Hoang and conducted a seminar on southern Vietnamese fashion during the Nguyen Dynasty (Đàng Trong).

Si Hoang is also the costume institute’s founder and deputy head, with history professor Nguyen Khac Thuan in the role of institute head. According to Hoang, he established the project in hopes of contributing to Vietnamese culture through a range of academic activities: compiling and translating academic documents about the costumes of Kinh Vietnamese and other ethnic minorities, restoring and developing retrofit fashion inspired by past fashion, and offering training and research opportunities to fashion students.

The new collection by Si Hoang is called “Sac Lemur,” which offers a range of new áo dài designs taking inspiration from Lemur-style áo dài, a popular variety of áo dài during the 1930s and 40s. This vintage costume is also the subject of the book Áo dài Lemur và bối cảnh Phong Hóa & Ngày Nay written by Dr. Pham Thao Nguyen, who was present at the launch event to discuss her work.

Nguyen has been working to trace the history of áo dài Lemur, the invention of late artist Nguyen Cat Tuong, who was a fashion visionary known for his trend advice in the now-defunct magazine Phong Hoa & Ngay Nay.

[Photo by An Phuong via Viet Nam News]

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