San Francisco (SF Gate): The Vietnamese ao dai — a long, slim-fitting tunic worn over trousers — has a rich history. The dress has come to symbolize the multilayered nature of political struggle, art and heritage. In this spirit, San Jose’s Áo Dài Festival showcases the work of Vietnamese artists, designers and performers. Proceeds from the festival help support a children’s shelter in central Vietnam.
The event begins with a free opening ceremony featuring the latest ao dai fashions accompanied by traditional music. The ticketed evening program, hosted at the Fairmont Hotel, includes a cocktail reception and dinner performance titled “Hội Trùng Dương.”
The Ao Dai Festival was developed by San Jose resident Jenny Do, who arrived in the U.S. in 1975 as a refugee from Vietnam. In 2017, Do, a practicing attorney, successfully lobbied California to name May 15 Ao Dai day in honor of Vietnamese culture.