October 22, 2013

Áo tứ thân - the “4-part dress”

The "áo tứ thân" was the dress of peasant women, which explains why it was often made with plain fabric in dark colors, except when it was to be worn at special occasions such as festivals or weddings. Regardless of its many different forms, the basic "Áo tứ thân" consists of:
  • A flowing outer tunic, reaching almost to the floor. It is open at the front, like a jacket. At the waist the tunic splits into two flaps: a full flap in the back (made up of two flaps sewn together) and the two flaps in the front which are not sewn together but can be tied together or left dangling.
  • A long skirt, worn under the tunic.
  • "Yếm", an ancient bodice worn as an undergarment by women. It comes in many fabrics and colors, worn under the skirt and outer tunic.
  • A silk sash which is tied at the waist as a belt.
"Áo Tứ Thân" in modern-day Vietnam (worn almost exclusively in northern-related festivals) tends to be extremely colorful, using different hues throughout the dress, from the tunic to the bodice and the skirt.
These photos taken duing my very first days of photography, with Canon 400D and Sigma 70-300 lens. (Models: Khánh Hà & Tố Uyên).

Song: Áo tứ thân (Singer: Ngọc Hạ)


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