The Unorthodox Orient - A Class of Her Own
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The Unorthodox Orient

The Unorthodox Orient

I was born a Vietnamese girl, to be raised with values that a typical Hue girl should have… My parents put so much effort into teaching me how to talk, how to eat, how to sit, how to stand, how to behave….

The Unorthodox Orient photoshoot

I have probably turned out not exactly the way they wanted me to be. I respect them so much and I’m really proud of my culture… But, unfortunately I’m no typical Hue girl… Mother used to say “Why are you so different from me?”… I was loud, I was extrovert, I was careless…. I never wanted to stay at home, I never talked with a soft voice, sometimes I ate without leaving some for others, I did Hiphop dancing, I wore clothes that were deemed inappropriate, way too liberal….

Yes, I was a rebellious kid indeed…

As much as I loved and respected those values they wanted to embed in me…. I also wanted to set myself free, to be rebellious, to be outrageous, to be…. DIFFERENT….

This photoshoot originated from that idea of being different…. Asian but not Asian, Vietnamese but not Vietnamese!
Things that are not conventional…. Things that are different according to various perceptions… And this photoshoot shows Vietnamese, or Vietnamese Ao’ Da`i if you would prefer…. from a DIFFERENT angle….
I owe Oat a big “thank you” for putting so much effort into these pictures. He is a talented photographer of whose I am so fortunate to have become a friend. Our hair stylist, Crystal was super uh-mazing!!!!! She just literally can do whatever you picture in your head and do it quick!! Last but not least, Kira, our model… who amazed me with her ability to take direction quickly but also to be able deliver the the pose and interpret the concept by herself at the same time! Thank you for doing that one pose that I pictured in my head! That was THE SHOT for me 🙂

The Unorthodox Orient photoshoot

You think a traditional dress cannot be modern? 

Golden Vietnamese traditional Aodai dress: borrowed from my friend Trang Nguyen
Red Vietnamese traditional Aodai dress: borrowed from my flatmate Heo Mu.p
Headpiece: I made the headpiece from threads
Red bandeau top: piece of plastic (???) from Crystal‘s house
Leggings: Arrogant Cat

The Unorthodox Orient photoshoot

Vietnamese Áo tứ thân : tailor-made from Vietnam (my dance costume)
Shoes: Crystal‘s own (Crystal is our hair stylist)
Straw hat: my grandmother’s

The Unorthodox Orient photoshoot

White silk trouser: borrowed from my friend Kara Nguyen
Pink halter-neck top (Vietnamese’s “bra”): my dance costume
Headpiece: my dance costume

The Unorthodox Orient photoshoot
>“A Vietnamese girl should always sit with their legs close to each other…

White silk trouser: borrowed from my friend Kara Nguyen
Pink halter-neck top (Vietnamese’s “bra”): my dance costume
Strawhat: my grandmother’s

The Unorthodox Orient photoshoot

Black/Blue Vietnamese traditional Aodai dress: my mother’s

Fan: mine 😀

The Unorthodox Orient photoshootThe Unorthodox Orient photoshootThe Unorthodox Orient photoshoot


Makeup: CaDao Nguyen
Stylist: CaDao Nguyen
Hair Stylist: Crystal Stanley
Photographer: OAT-CHAIYASITH
Concept: CaDao and Oat

  • Ca Dao
    Posted at 07:23h, 14 April Reply

    Thanks for your comments. I think it’s always interesting when we all have different perceptions about one thing. It makes life wonderful that way. For me, I guess the whole photoshoot tried to portrait the “traditional dress” from a different angle… not conventional view that Vietnameses normally have regarding our national dress.
    Love, xx

  • Linh
    Posted at 02:11h, 14 April Reply

    all the pics are beautiful but to be honest, for me ao dai is best when you wear and pose in it traditonally. love all your pics thought. keep up with these amazing work!

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