Born and raised in the ancient royal capital, Professor Thai Kim Lan has a great love for the culture and people of Hue. Although she lived away from Vietnam for an extended period, her love of home and culture brought her on a journey to find and revive what belonged to Hue

This imperial mantle was made from raw silk.  The thread was made from gold, silver and copper, creating a harmonious color for the dragon – the symbol of the king. 

Lan's collection dates back hundreds of years from the beginning of Nguyen Dynasty and includes many precious garments worn by King Khai Dinh, Empress Dowager Tu Cung (King Khai Dinh's wife). Still others were worn by the royal concubines of King Khai Dinh and that of other ladies and gentlemen of royal background.

Designer Tran Hong Quang Hoa spent years researching and designing many unique Ao Dai which are inspired by the feudal Nguyen Dynasty.

As a designer with a special love for Ao Dai, Quang Hoa aims to enhance the cultural value of Hue and traditional beauty of this national costume. 

The journey to preserve and revive the ao dai of the Nguyen Dynasty is not an easy task.  Researchers and designers like Prof. Dr. Thai Kim Lan and Trang Hong Quang faced the negative stigma of Ao Dai as a manifestation of feudal bourgeoisie.  However, with the enthusiasm and the love for Ao Dai, they are bringing these designs back to life with a fresh and modern breath./.