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Ralph Lauren, 1994

Lorynn Divita

Source: Fashion Photography Archive 2015


Ralph Lauren specializes in promoting an idealized romantic lifestyle, whether it is the WASP-y life of inherited privilege in the northeast, the rugged individualism of the American cowboy, or British colonialism in Africa. However, for this collection Lauren took a different path, featuring military-influenced styles in khaki fabrics juxtaposed with flowing dresses that strongly resemble the traditional Vietnamese ao dai costume, complete with models styled in conical non la leaf hats. Although

Rites of Passage and Rituals in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia

Susan Conway

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The people of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are united by their proximity to the Mekong River and its tributaries. Indigenous and imported fabrics are worn for dress associated with religious ceremonies and other rituals. In societies where Hinduism has made an impact, particularly Thailand and Cambodia, children undergo a tonsure ceremony marking the passage from childhood to adolescence. If the ceremony is performed for a male member of the royal family, court affiliates dressed as guar


Christine Hemmet and Julie Banatre

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Vietnam has one of the largest varieties of ethnic groups in the world. This cultural mosaic reflects the migrations that have created today’s Vietnam. Whether they live in the plains, the high valleys, or the mountains, Vietnam’s rural populations share several cultural traits. Weaving and the making of clothes are women’s tasks. Each population, especially today in the north, has its own style of dress, which acts as a cultural marker. While the shape of different parts of the dress has varied

Crossing Borders and Time: Ethnic Dress across the Vietnam–China Border in the Twenty-First Century

Serena Lee

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Global Perspectives 2010

Encyclopedia entry

This article is based on multiple field studies conducted in 1999–2012 in the northern Vietnam provinces of Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Lai Chau, and Tuyen Quang, and the southwest China provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guizhou. A surprising number of minorities in these rural, mountainous regions continue to wear distinctive group dress—asserting their identities as, first and foremost, members of ethnic groups. Photos taken in the early 1900s substantiate that some of today’s group dress date

The Fashion World of Southeast Asia

Edric Ong

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Each nation of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) since independence has been asserting its identity through dress. Many of these nations are multicultural, creating interesting blends, including Western styles. Contemporary Malaysian fashion reflects its people’s cultural diversity. Young Muslim girls wear jeans with head scarves rather than traditional dress. Batik textiles are undergoing a major revival, promoted by the Malaysian government. In Indonesia, designers have done m

Geographic and Cultural Introduction

John E. Vollmer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The region of continental and insular East Asia and Inner Asia is vast in terms of both time and space. The recorded history of the region is measured in millennia, rather than centuries. Dress is widely diverse, as are the people who created it. Historically, Chinese civilization, which traces a continuous development over four millennia, has dominated the region and has influenced the attire and attitudes about dress of many of China’s neighboring states. Yet even Chinese dress is far from mono

Always Remembering the Motherland: Tai Dam Wedding Textiles and Dress

Elyse Demaray and Melody Keim-Shenk

Source: Wedding Dress Across Cultures 2003

Book chapter

In 1975, approximately 2,000 Tai Dam, or Black Tai, immigrated to Des Moines, Iowa, from refugee camps in Thailand. Before the Tai Dam fled to Thailand, they migrated from southern China to current-day northwest Vietnam in the seventh century AD, from northwest Vietnam to Laos in 1954, to Thailand, and subsequently to Des Moines in the mid-1970s. With each migration, the Tai Dam have had to negotiate their expression of ethnic identity in relation to the cultures where they lived.The Tai Dam are

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