Photographer's Note

Cai Be, Vietnam...

Cái Bè is a river-land mixed town in Mekong Delta, in Southern Vietnam. Along the river, there are docks that handle passengers and goods, and a floating market. I took this picture while making a tour of the canals. The young lady, dressed in the -seemingly- traditional costume ao dai, was riding a bicycle.


The áo dài is a Vietnamese national costume, now most commonly worn by women. In its current form, it is a tight-fitting silk tunic worn over pantaloons. Áo is derived from a Middle Chinese word meaning "padded coat". Dài means "long".

The word "ao dai" was originally applied to the outfit worn at the court of the Nguyễn Lords at Huế in the 18th century. This outfit evolved into the áo ngũ thân, a five-paneled aristocratic gown worn in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Inspired by Paris fashions, Nguyễn Cát Tường and other artists associated with Hanoi University redesigned the ngũ thân as a modern dress in the 1920s and 1930s.

The updated look was promoted by the artists and magazines as a national costume for the modern era. In the 1950s, Saigon designers tightened the fit to produce the version worn by Vietnamese women today. The dress was extremely popular in South Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Source: Ao Dai

Cropped, increased sharpness and shades.

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Additional Photos by Erdem Kutukoglu (Suppiluliuma) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 266 W: 105 N: 604] (3931)
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