|VN designer working on ao dai for Miss Universe|
|07:37' 17/05/2008 (GMT+7)|
You have signed a contract to be the sole designer of ao dai for Miss Universe pageant. Could you share your happiness with us?
When I was a small boy, each time I watched international pageant contests on TV, I dreamed that one day they would wear my clothes and that dream has become reality. This is the greatest happiness and luck for me in my over 10-year career.
How special will be your designs for the contest?
I will design 85 ao dai for 85 contestants from all over the world. Each design will have its own characteristics and will be different from the others. Each ao dai will be a story, which shows the cultural uniqueness of each country.
I divide them into four collections based on the four seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. When my ao dai go to stage, you will see a colourful picture of nature and a splendid flower garden of Mother Nature.
I want to present to contestants and introduce to international friends a special gift: unique designs that appear for the first time at a Miss Universe pageant. They are my passion, my sentiment and my soul.
But how can you find the essences of all 85 countries within a few months to show them in your designs?
It was very hard for me to get accurate measurements of all contestants from the organising board. I also had to seek information about the colours of their skin, hair and eyes to choose the most suitable materials.
My ao dai will hold closely to the body to help show-off competitors’ body curves. The colours will be various to render the four seasons. I will keep the frame of Vietnamese traditional ao dai and add some suitable renovations. I want to prove that ao dai is not an old thing. It is very modern and romantic.
Learning of the cultures of 85 countries has taken a lot of time. I have to read documents and find out what are the most outstanding features of these countries. I also have to look at traditional clothes of these countries and filter the most special things to use in my ao dai collection, which I call “Miss Universe”.
Most of them are imported products which are used by well-known fashion brands in the world. I have spent over $100,000 on materials.
Are you investing in this collection alone or with others?
I’m the sole sponsor of ao dai for the pageant so I have to pay for everything. It exceeds my ability a little bit (smile), but it is no problem because I can realise my dream and can introduce Vietnamese culture to the world through my ao dai designs.
You said you want to introduce Vietnamese culture to the world. What do you think if some say you also want to advertise your name to the world?
(Smile) You think I need to be famous? No, I don’t need it anymore. Designing ao dai is my passion and it is in my heart and my blood already. So I want to be the designer of ao dai for competitors of Miss Universe pageant at any cost.
Is there a lot of pressure to design nearly 100 ao dai for an international beauty contest?
The pressure is great but it has decreased a lot. But I’m willing to accept pressure because I can live with my passion. This is a valuable opportunity for me and it may be the only opportunity in my life. Despite many challenges, I still feel very happy. The organising board is allowing me to make all decisions related to my designs. Their respect makes the pressure greater.
I’ve finished 60 designs. I’m very happy because I’ve finished nearly three-fourths of the load. I’m working on the last 25 designs.
I’m requested to make 85 designs but I will make over 90 designs so I can change designs if necessary. When competitors come to Vietnam to try on ao dai, if I see any design that is not suitable for them, I will change it.
How about the ao dai for the Vietnamese girl?
I’ll surely make something very special for that ao dai. But I will not reveal anything about it. But I can say that the design will emphasise the familiar gentleness, loveliness and pureness of the Vietnamese girl, but it will be unforgettable.