No entries were qualified enough to be chosen for the final round of the national costume design contest held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, according to organisers.

As many as 254 entries sent by 47 competitors failed to satisfy judges. Hence, the organisers will invite additional designers to join the final round.

"Only 12 designs by three designers are better than the rest," said Bui Dinh Hai, a staff member from the culture ministry's Fine Arts, Photography and Exhibition Department, which is hosting the contest.

"Some judges suggested that three designers make some changes to their designs to qualify them for the final. Even in that case, the contest still needs more qualified designs," he added.

According to painter Le Anh Van, vice chairman of the contest's Art Council, most of the designs could not meet the contest's requirements on the smartness, comfortability and Vietnamese identity.

"In the meantime, some designs look like performing costumes on modern fashion catwalks or bear foreign features," he said. "This is understandable as most of the competitors are amateur designers or fashion students."

Painter Tran Khanh Chuong, another member of the Art Council, noted that the contest's qualifying round had been widely announced, yet it had not attracted professional designers.

"I think the best solution is to invite prestigious designers or big garment companies throughout the nation to join the contest," he said. "We should even offer them some financial support. The invitees will appreciate the move."

Some organising members suggested inviting seven more designers to increase the number of finalists to 10 for the next round of the contest.

The contest was launched two months ago to find the best costumes for men and women to wear during national and international events. The satisfactory designs are expected to bear traditional cultural features and should be beautiful, comfortable, modern and suitable to the Vietnamese climate. The designers are encouraged to use traditional cloth and made in Vietnam.-VNA