Vietnamese contestants move past ao dai at beauty pageants

By Long Nguyen   May 17, 2021 | 06:31 pm GMT+7
Vietnamese contestants at the Miss Universe pageant have repeatedly surprised international audiences with outfits inspired by traditional but mundane items like banh mi and ca phe sua da.
Khanh Van, Vietnamese contestant at Miss Universe 2020, dons a white ao dai with a 30-kg cocoon inspired by the image of the silkworm cocoon used in traditional silk weaving.Catriona Gray, Miss Universe 2018 winner, chose Khanh Van’s cocoon as one of her favorite six outfits. She said: Indonesia, Nepal, Peru, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam were my Top 6 national costumes. Who were yours?The competition, planned to take place last year, was delayed until May, 2021. Photo by Milor Tran.

At the 2020 Miss Universe Khanh Van dons a white ao dai with a 30-kg ‘cocoon’ inspired by the silkworm.
Catriona Gray, the 2018 Miss Universe winner, chose Van’s cocoon as one of her six favorite outfits, saying: "Indonesia, Nepal, Peru, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam were my top 6 national costumes. Which were yours?"
But the pageant, scheduled to be held last year, was not and was postponed to May 16, 2021. Photo by Milor Tran.

At Miss Universe 2019, Hoang Thuy made an impression with her audacious filter coffee-inspired costume. Designed by Tran Nguyen Minh Duc, the costume features a bedazzled jumpsuit with lots of beading and details, the spoon and headpiece. There was originally a skirt representing a cup, but Thuy reportedly found it difficult to walk in.Her costume made it to the Instagram page of the beauty contest while online beauty pageant magazine Missosology named Thuy as one of its 10 finalists of Miss Universe 2019. Photo courtesy of Miss Universe.

At the 2019 Miss Universe, Hoang Thuy wore an audacious coffee filter-inspired costume. Designed by Tran Nguyen Minh Duc, the costume featured a bedazzled jumpsuit with lots of beading and details, a spoon, and a headpiece that looked like a giant filter. There was originally a skirt representing a cup, but Thuy reportedly had difficulty walking in it.
Her costume made it to the Instagram page of the beauty contest while online beauty pageant magazine Missosology named Thuy as one of its 10 finalists in the competition. Photo courtesy of Miss Universe.

H’Hen Nie, the Vietnamese representative at Miss Universe 2018, chose an outfit inspried by banh mi, Vietnams popular street food. It sparked controversy as many people said banh mi was not a typical food of the country.You travel to the poorest place in North or Central Highlands, or the richest place of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, you all see banh mi, Nie said. The outfit made a good impression on the international communities thanks to its creativity. Photo courtesy of HHen Nie.

H’Hen Nie, the Vietnamese Miss Universe contestant in 2018, wore an outfit inspried by banh mi, Vietnam's popular street food. It sparked a controversy with many people saying banh mi was not a typical Vietnamese food.
But the outfit made a good impression on international audiences with its sheer creativity. Photo courtesy of H'Hen Nie.

Since Miss Universe Vietnam organized a competition to pick the best national costume for the Vietnamese representative at the international beauty paegant, there have been a lot of ideas instead of traditional ao dai.In the photo, Nguyen Thi Loan attended Miss Universe 2017 with a colorful dress inspired by ao dai, adorned with giant conical hats that look like wings. Photo courtesy of Miss Universe Vietnam.

Since Miss Universe Vietnam organized a competition to pick the best national costume for Vietnamese contestants in international beauty pageants, there have been a lot of ideas.
At the 2017 Miss Universe Nguyen Thi Loan wears a colorful dress inspired by the ao dai adorned with giant conical hats that look like wings. Photo courtesy of Miss Universe Vietnam.

At Miss Universe 2016, Le Hang, Vietnams representative, won kudo in the  national costume competion with her outfit made of rattan and bamboo, a traditional conical hat and images of lotus flowers, symbolic of Vietnam. According to Missology, this is one of the most impressive outfit in the competition.

At the 2016 Miss Universe, Le Hang won kudos in the national costume competion with an outfit made of rattan and bamboo, a traditional conical hat and images of lotus flowers, symbolic of Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Le Hang.

Before 2015, Vietnamese contestants at Miss Universe always chose ao dai for the national costume competition. In the photo, Pham Huong chose an ao dai with traditional patterns, and a 1.7-kg hat covered with gold. Photo courtesy of Missology.

Until 2015 Vietnamese contestants at Miss Universe always chose the ao dai in the national costume contest. In this photo, Pham Huong wears an ao dai with traditional patterns like cranes and bamboo, and a 1.7-kg hat covered with gold. Photo courtesy of Missology.

 
 
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