By Kimlai, Eatin Asian
I had the opportunity to host a Fall Fashion show that featured some amazing clothing designers but also paid tribute to Asian fashion. I find most Asian clothes to be very ornate, extremely personalized and timeless. After seeing how long some of the outfits took to put together and get on the models, I completely understood why they are customary to wear ONLY for special occasions. The fashion show specifically featured Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Indian. I was excited for the opportunity to host this event but also stoked that I was asked to wear an outfit that was indicative to my Vietnamese culture. I’ve seen so many beautiful Ao Doi’s and I had a ton of images in my mind of what I was hoping to find. I wanted to share some of the key points of each traditional attire.
Korean Traditional Attire
The Hanbok is specifically worn for special occasions. Traditionally the woman’s hanbok has 7 layers but in an effort to modernize the look it has been simplified a bit and is common to wear the skirt with one layer underneath.
Colors play a huge significance in all Asian cultures. In the Korean culture white is the basic color which represents modesty and a pure spirit. Red signifies good future and wealth. Yellow represents the center of the universe and was generally a color saved for royalty.
Filipino Traditional Attire
The terno is the traditional dress of Filipinos and just like the Hanbok it is saved for special occasions. It’s a long one piece dress with butterfly sleeves. The terno became less fashionable in the 30’s but with the help of Imelda Marcos it was revived in the 70’s. This is how Ms. Marcos got her name “the Iron Butterfly”, which is a direct reference to the very large sleeves that resembled butterfly wings.
Vietnamese Traditional Attire
The AoDai is the traditional Vietnamese dress which has been customized and modernized and still worn today. The color red is preferred for celebrations such as marriage also represents luck and prosperity. For brides the AoDai is covered with an Ao Choang, which is basically an over coat or robe. The robe which is worn over the AoDai is typically as elegant and ornate as the dress.
The AoDai represents a gentle soul and elegance. It’s a simple outfit that consists of two pieces. Silk pants and a long sleeved shirt with two flaps split at the waist. It’s become standard to pick out material and head to a tailor to customize the cut and color of an Ao Dai.
Read the full article by Kimlai from Eatin Asian.