Vietnamese netizens unimpressed with foreign ao dai ‘innovations’

By Trang Shaelyn   October 15, 2019 | 10:10 am GMT+7

The recent furor among Vietnamese netizens over a Grammy-winning singer’s use of ao dai sans its trousers has several precedents.

On October 12th, American Singer Kacey Musgraves stirred great controversy within Vietnamese communities worldwide, and not for good reasons. Wearing traditional Vietnamese ao dai yet intentionally replacing the pant with a transparent stocking, the singer posed in overtly sexy manner. The pictures infuriated Vietnamese and they accused her of not respecting Vietnamese traditions. Many local celebrities such as producer Ngo Thanh Van and model Pham Huong also expressed their frustration. 

On October 12th, American Singer Kacey Musgraves stirred great controversy within Vietnamese communities worldwide, and not for good reasons. Wearing traditional Vietnamese "ao dai" yet intentionally replacing the pant with a transparent stocking, the singer posed in overtly sexy manner.

The pictures infuriated Vietnamese and they accused her of not respecting Vietnamese traditions. Some local celebrities such as actress Ngo Thanh Van and Miss Universe Vietnam 2015 Pham Huong also expressed their frustration.

A screenshot from Kacey Musgraves’s Instagram page shows her wearing the traditional Vietnamese long dress without its trousers at a concert in Dallas on October 11, 2019.

However, Musgraves was not the first foreign star who spiced up ao dai by eschewing its flared trousers. On the red carpet of the Billboard Music Awards 2019, 25-year-old American rapper Saweetie also wore an outfit resembling the Vietnamese ao dai with no pants. Photo by Shutterstock/Tinseltown.

However, Musgraves was not the first foreign star who spiced up "ao dai" by eschewing its flared trousers. On the red carpet of the Billboard Music Awards 2019, 25-year-old American rapper Saweetie also wore an outfit resembling the Vietnamese "ao dai" with no pants. Photo by Shutterstock/Tinseltown.

In 2013, American photographer Franey Miller uploaded a picture of a Polish female model Baska Mroz wearing a long dress with a head scarf inspired by Vietnamese traditional costume. The dress was too highly cut out but the pants were missing, exposing lace underwear. many Vietnamese leave critical comments on Franey Millers facebook. In response, the photographer said: My photograph is not intended to introduce or interpret anything about the country of Vietnam or Vietnamese culture. I apologize for anything wrong that might be caused by the photo, but please understand and appreciate the art. From now on I will try my best to be more aware of the culture and my impact on this issue.

In 2013, American photographer Franey Miller uploaded a picture of a Polish model Baska Mroz wearing a long dress with a head scarf inspired by the Vietnamese traditional costume. 

Many Vietnamese responded critically on the photographer’s Facebook page, noting that the dress was cut a tad high and the trousers were missing, exposing lace underwear. 

In response, the photographer said: "My photograph is not intended to introduce or interpret anything about the country of Vietnam or Vietnamese culture. I apologize for anything wrong that might be caused by the photo, but please understand and appreciate the art. From now on I will try my best to be more aware of the culture and my impact on this issue." Photo courtesy of Franey Miller.

Foreign stars criticized for tainting the image of Vietnamese ao dai - 3

Han Seo Hee, ex-girlfriend of T.O.P, a member of the acclaimed South Korean boy band Big Bang, also attracted criticism from Vietnamese citizens on her visit to Vietnam for smoking cigarettes while wearing an "ao dai" and a conical hat. They felt it spoilt the image of the national dress and was a sign of disrespect. Photo courtesy of Han Seo Hee.

Zhang Wan You,  a famous showgirl in the Chinese gaming industry, wearing ao dai with a deep V-neck exposing large areas of her breasts.

Zhang Wan You, a famous showgirl in the Chinese gaming industry, also got flak for wearing a cleavage revealing "ao dai". Photo courtesy of Zhang Wan You.

 
 
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