Vietnam’s first ao dai (women’s traditional tunic) museum opened in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 9 Wednesday.
The private museum, located in the 20,000-square meter Long Thuan Garden House in the suburban district, features 500 unique dresses dating back to 1930.
The collection includes ones wore by most famous Vietnamese women in the arts, politics and military, such as ones donated by Ton Nu Thi Ninh, who is the former ambassador of Vietnam to the EU and former vice-chair of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee. Some were worn by Ninh, her mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law.
Other highlights are empresses’ dress called phuong bao (phoenix dress) and sets of ao dai owned by Nguyen Thi Dinh, Vietnam’s first female major general to serve in the Vietnam People's Army, former deputy president Nguyen Thi Binh, and famous senior cai luong artists Kim Cuong and Bay Nam.
In addition, the museum, owned by fashion designer Si Hoang, also has 3,000 photos of the tunic and other ao dai-related artifacts.
Ao dai designer Hoang, a former lecturer at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture, initiated the museum project, located on 206/19/30 Long Thuan Street, District 9, in 2006 though.
His garden was built four years earlier as a hub for arts exhibitions, fashion shows, gastronomy events and eco-tourism, thanks to its open air arrangement including lotus ponds, fishing ponds, orchards, old wooden houses, camping space and art installations.
Tickets to the museum are priced at VND100,000 for tourists, 30,000 for the disabled, and free for elderly and children as the investor aims to promote Vietnamese dress culture and traditional arts to local students.