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Designer promotes Vietnamese tourism through áo dài collection



The sight of the city on the Sài Gòn River inspired the ‘Ngọc Viễn Đông’ (Pearl of the Far East) collection. — Photo courtesy of HCM City Áo Dài Festival

HCM CITY — One of the most eye-catching features of this year’s HCM City Áo Dài Festival which opened on the weekend was the collection of áo dài (traditional long dress) by designer Đỗ Trịnh Hoài Nam, who drew inspiration from the Sài Gòn River’s natural beauty.

The collection, which is titled Ngọc Viễn Đông (Pearl of the Far East), was created especially for the festival with the goal of promoting tourism along the Sài Gòn River to local and international audiences.

Apart from the imagery of the city on the Sài Gòn River, Nam added that the lotus flower inspired the collection.

The lotus, which has long stood for tradition, now illuminated in colours that were fresh and modern.

Hundreds of artists from traditional embroidery villages in Thường Tín District, Hà Nội, spent thousands of hours of hard labour bringing this collection to life using sophisticated hand-embroidering methods.

The mosaic-inspired designs and intricate handiwork of the velvet and silk fabrics used in this collection provided the impression of luxury and elegance.

The collection was created especially for the festival with the goal of promoting tourism along the Sài Gòn River. — Photo courtesy of HCM City Áo Dài Festival

Together with preserving cultural heritage, the fusion of contemporary and historical methods resulted in stylish, cutting-edge áo dài.

Designer Nam also took on the role of áo dài ambassador, working with the organiser to carry out promotional activities for the national garment within the framework of the 2023 HCM City Áo Dài Festival.

Designer Đỗ Trịnh Hoài Nam during the collection showcase. He took part in this year’s Áo Dài festival as a designer and áo dài ambassador. — Photo courtesy of HCM City Áo Dài Festival

The festival will take place in HCM City throughout March with a wide range of cultural activities

One of the highlights of the event will be a seminar entitled “Beauty of Vietnamese Áo Dài-Conservation and Development” which is designed for female Consul Generals, spouses of Consul Generals and officials working at diplomatic missions, friendship associations and non-governmental organisations in the city.

Many activities relating to the festival will be held at historical and cultural relic sites and tourist destinations, aiming to promote HCM City as a safe destination with fascinating daily life. VNS


Your Vietnam

Skincare essentials: your personalised guide



Dr Snigdha Singh. Photo courtesy of Family Medical Practice

Dr Snigdha Singh*

Flawless skin is the most universally desired human feature. In the quest to achieve perfect skin, people of all ages are constantly searching for the ‘best’ skincare products. Whether they shop at a pharmacy, department store, or online, people are faced with a paradox of choice. They turn to their friends, physicians, or favourite bloggers for recommendations, often purchasing expensive products that fail to live up to their expectations.

For choosing the right skin care, it’s essential to first understand the concept of ageing.

Extrinsic ageing, which includes ultraviolet exposure, pollution and lifestyle choices such as smoking, diet, and daily skincare habits, is estimated to account for 80 per cent of the visible signs of skin ageing.  Whereas intrinsic ageing, which is genetically determined and subject to the influence of one’s overall health, stress level, and propensity to develop skin conditions such as acne, rosacea or eczema, accounts for only 20 per cent.

A plethora of aesthetic procedures, from chemical peeling, micro-needling and PRP Therapy to injections with volumising fillers, neurotoxins, and laser resurfacing, are available these days to address these signs of ageing. However, for maintaining that healthy, radiant skin, a proper at-home skincare routine is a must.

A great way to start is to know your skin type.


Even texture and tone, blemish-free, normal pores.


Visibly enlarged pores, feels greasy to the touch, looks shiny, frequent acne breakouts.


No enlarged pores, looks flaky, feels dry and stretched, with more visible lines.

COMBINATION SKIN Oily T-zone with normal-dry face, occasional breakouts in oily areas.


(not actually a type but a skin condition)

Reactive and easily irritated, prone to skin allergies causing redness or stinging/burning sensation due to genetic or external factors.


Prevention, protection, cleansing, and moisturising are the key components of an effective skincare routine.

1.          Prevention: preventing contact with known irritants, allergens, solvents, surfactants and sensitising preservatives. It’s a concern, especially for patients with sensitive skin where we recommend products with minimum ingredients.

2.          Protection: most sun damage results from everyday, incidental ultraviolet exposure, rather than occasional bursts while on vacation. The most effective active ingredients for blocking out both UV-A and UV-B are either zinc oxide or avobenzone.

Normal-Dry Skin Hyaluronic acid
Oily-Combination Skin Gel/Water-based
Dull Skin Vitamin-C(Ascorbic acid)

Sunscreen application pointers:

·       Amount: 2 finger lengths.

·       Application: Daily after moisturizer. Reapply every 2 hours when outside.

3.                Cleansing: should be practised twice daily.

Normal-Dry Skin Cream/Lotion based, look for Glycerine or Hyaluronic acid.
Oily-Combination Skin Gel-based/foaming, look for salicylic acid.
Dull Skin Look for AHA/Glycolic acid

4.                Moisturising: should be applied immediately after the cleanser when the skin is still moist.

Normal-Dry Skin Ointments or creams. Look for Glycerine/Paraffin/ Hyaluronic acid/Ceramides.
Sensitive Skin Look for Niacinamide/Hyaluronic acid/Peptides.
Oily-Combination Skin Gels, lotions or serums are lightweight oil in water formulations.

Prevention, protection, cleansing, and moisturising are the key components of an effective skincare routine. Photo


1. Retinoids

Essential add-ons to your night skincare routine which has anti-ageing effects and is beneficial in acne-prone skin.

·        Two times/week in your 20s,

·        Three times/week in your 30s

·        Four times/week in your 40s and

·        Five times/week in your 50s and ages above it.

*not recommended for sensitive or very dry skin or people with certain skin conditions like Rosacea or eczema.

2. Chemical Exfoliants

It is the process of removing excess corneocyte buildup, which in turn stimulates cell turnover, resulting in more polished, smoother radiant skin. It can be included in your skincare routine three times a week in the form of serum or toner.

·        AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid) – recommended in dull, sun-damaged skin, uneven skin tone and pigmentation.

·        BHA (Beta Hydroxyl Acid) – recommended in Oily acne-prone skin.

·        PHA (Poly Hydroxy Acid) – recommended for sensitive skin, dry skin, sun damaged skin.

*Concentrations in excess of 10 per cent to 15 per cent in the case of AHA and 2 per cent in β-hydroxy acid require professional administration.

3.    Antioxidants

Can be used as a serum after cleansing and before moisturisation.

·        Niacinamide – for acne-prone skin, oily skin, sensitive skin, and inflamed skin.

·         Vitamin C –  for dull and sun-damaged skin.

·        Green tea extracts – for acne prone, oily to combination skin.

·        CoQ 10 – for signs of ageing, uneven skin tone, and sun-damaged skin. 

As we grow older, our skin’s inherent anti-ageing mechanisms diminish and the rate of breakdown of key constituents increases. Although cosmetic procedures have a significant positive impact on specific aspects of ageing, clinically proven products, formulated with the right ingredients for a specific skin concern and delivered in an esthetically appealing system, will both maximise the outcome and increase the longevity of benefits from the treatments we provide while empowering the patient to personalise and control their skincare journey. — Family Medical Practice

* Dr. Snigdha Singh studied a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and a masters in Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology. She specialises in diagnosing and treating various skin disorders, scalp and hair, disorders of sebaceous- and sweat glands, oral mucosal lesions, etc. She is also an expert in treating signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging or dull skin, acne (scars), pigmentation, melasma, sun damaged skin, etc. with lasers, chemical peeling, microneedling, PRP therapy, botox, dermal fillers, etc.  

Visit Family Medical Practice Hanoi 24/7 at 298I P. Kim Mã, Kim Mã, Ba Đình. To book an appointment, please call us at (024).3843.0784, or contact us via Whatsapp, Viber or Zalo on +84.944.43.1919 or email [email protected].

FMP’s downtown location in Hồ Chí Minh is in Diamond Plaza, 34 Đ. Lê Duẩn, Bến Nghé, District 1, and 95 Đ. Thảo Điền, District 2. Tel. (028) 3822 7848 or email [email protected]


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Your Vietnam

Renowned Vietnamese artists collaborate on unique porcelain artworks




The ‘Hoa Trên Hoa Kết Tinh’ (Flowers On Crystallised Flowers) exhibition features 13 crystallised porcelain artworks. Photos courtesy of the centre of Vietnam Quintessential Handicraft 

HÀ NỘI  An exhibition featuring unique porcelain artworks resulting from the first-ever collaboration between two Vietnamese artisans will be on display at CHỌN de l’Art, located in the centre of Vietnam Quintessential Handicraft at 28 Bát Tràng Street, Gia Lâm District, Hà Nội, from March 25 to 28.

Titled Hoa Trên Hoa Kết Tinh (Flowers on Crystallised Flowers), the exhibition will showcase 13 crystallised porcelain items created by Lê Ngọc Thạch, a famed artisan based in Bát Tràng, and painted by the internationally-acclaimed overseas Vietnamese artist Hồng Đức Thanh.

The much-anticipated event, jointly organised by CHỌN de l’Art and the centre of Vietnam Quintessential Handicraft, is expected to draw porcelain art enthusiasts from all over.

Thanh, also known as Hồng Mễ Xuyên, has garnered international acclaim for his pursuit of the art of porcelain painting, which the Lingnan school influences.

This is the first time that artist Hồng Đức Thanh paints on crystallised enamel on ceramics crafted in Bát Tràng Village. 

The 65-year-old artist, now based in Norway, has won many prestigious awards at international exhibitions in the US, Spain, Brazil, Italy, Japan, and China.

Collaborating with mainland Chinese and Taiwanese artists, he has created paintings on thin, light porcelain products with an elegant shape and shiny enamel colours, which have stunned art enthusiasts. One of his notable artworks is performed on the world’s thinnest porcelain bowl in Taiwan, currently on display at the Shanghai Museum in China.

Thanh is also passionate in spreading the art form to the younger generation. He was invited to teach at Folkeuniversitetet, and then at other schools around the world such as Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Japan, and Italy.

He is currently running a class in his studio, Art Thanh Hong AS in Brumunddal, Norway.

Artisan Thạch is the 16th generation descendant of a family with a tradition of crafting pottery products in Bát Tràng Village, Gia Lâm District in Hà Nội. His passion for the craft has begun since a very young age.

After graduating from the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, Thạch has regularly come into contacts and collaborated with other renowned artisans and big brands, in addition to attending many famous ceramic fairs in the world.

His enriched knowledge, experiences, desire and chances to witness the development of world ceramic craft have inspired him to create artworks of with his own ambitions that inherit the values ​​of the predecessors but also integrated with global elements.

The exhibition resulted from the first collaboration between Bát Tràng artisan Lê Ngọc Thạch (left) and Norway-based artist Hồng Đức Thanh. 

After several meetings at Bát Tràng Village, which produces one of the most beautiful porcelain works in northern Việt Nam, they decided to have a joint exhibition at CHỌN de l’Art.

According to the organisers, the theme of the exhibition  Flowers on Crystallised Flowers – implies the crystallisation of two Vietnamese artistic souls travelling elsewhere and then gathering again right in the homeland.

This is the first time artist Thanh painted on crystallised enamel on porcelain crafted in Bát Tràng, which marks his beginning in conquering the material.

His vivid flower artworks, performed on blooming porcelain, have winged Thạch’s dreams,

“Crystallised enamel takes us on journeys to paintings,” he said.

“Through this exhibition, I hope to spread the values of the distinctive porcelain type of Bát Tràng and inspire the next artisan generation’s interest in the art form,” Thanh said. VNS


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Students in Đà Nẵng take part in Japan-Việt Nam cultural day



A dance team join the annual Japanese-Vietnamese Culture Exchange Day at Đà Nẵng City’s Đông Á University. More than 5,000 students participated in the event with different art performances and games. — Photo courtesy of Phương Chi 

ĐÀ NẴNG — More than 5,000 students and visitors joined the annual Japanese-Vietnamese Culture Exchange Day in celebration of the 50th diplomatic ties of Japan and Việt Nam at the central city’s Đông Á University on March 9.

It’s one of a series of activities organised throughout the year in the city to mark the Japan-Việt Nam friendship and cultural cooperation.

Student groups staged traditional art performances of Việt Nam and Japan (Yasakoi dance and Taiko drum play) to the piano of the Japanese Keiko Borujeson, while fashion shows of áo dài (long dress), yukata and cosplay were displayed by Vietnamese and Japanese artists on the main stage.

Demonstrations of Japanese calligraphy, paintings, cuisine (Nagashi Somen–Japanese noodle at bamboo gut) at 12 pavilions and a folk dance competition drew participation from 38 teams.

Head of the Japanese General Consulate, Yakabe Yoshinori, said Đà Nẵng’s Đông Á University had early developed high-quality human resources for both technical knowledge and the Japanese language in the region.

He said internship programmes in Japan helped provide quality manpower for Japanese businesses.

A pavilion introduces Japanese and Vietnamese traditional culture at the Japan-Việt Nam Cultural Exchange Day in Đà Nẵng. The event marked the 50th diplomatic ties between Japan and Việt Nam in the city. Photo courtesy of Phương Chi 

Yakabe Yoshinori also said the university introduced and promoted Japanese culture, building a trusting relationship with the Japanese General Consulate and the Japanese business community in Đà Nẵng.

During the Cultural Exchange Day, Japanese businesses successfully recruited 500 qualified students working in Japan, and five more partners from Japan inked agreements on human training with the university.

The Việt Nam-Japan Cultural and Sports Exchange Association (Favija) also presented a scholarship for a 10-day life experience tour in Japan for the winner of the Japanese language contest in 2022.

Đà Nẵng is seen as a favourite rendezvous of art troupes and artists from Sakai, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Kisarazu, Mimasaka, Nagasaki and Kushiro in Japan at the annual Việt Nam-Japan Culture Exchange since 2014. — VNS


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