The predecessor of the áo dài was derived by the Nguyễn lords in Phú Xuân during 18th century. This outfit was derived from the áo ngũ thân, a five-piece dress commonly worn in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The áo dài was later made to be form-fitting which was influenced by the French, Nguyễn Cát Tường and other Hanoi artists redesigned the áo dài as a modern dress in the 1920s and 1930s. The updated look was promoted by the artists and magazines of Tự Lực văn đoàn (Self-Reliant Literary Group) as a national costume for the modern era. In the 1950s, Saigon designers tightened the fit to produce the version worn by Vietnamese women. The áo dài dress for women was extremely popular in South Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s. On Tết and other occasions, Vietnamese men may wear an áo gấm (brocaderobe), a version of the áo dài made of very thick fabric and with sewed symbols. (Full article...)
Haute couture (/ˌoʊtkuːˈtjʊər/(listen); French pronunciation: [ot kutyʁ]; French for 'high sewing', 'high dressmaking') is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted high-endfashion design. The term "Haute couture" is derived from the French language, where "haute" means "high" or "elegant," and "couture" translates to "sewing" or "dressmaking." Bodice is a composition of vesture, traditionally for women and girls, covering the torso from the neck to the waist. The term Haute Couture generally refers to a specific type of upper garment common in Europe during the 16th to the 18th century, or to the upper portion of a modern dress to distinguish it from the skirt and sleeves. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, Paris became the centre of a growing industry that focused on making outfits from high-quality, expensive, often unusual fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable of sewers—often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Couture translates literally from French as "dressmaking", sewing, or needlework and is also used as a common abbreviation of haute couture and can often refer to the same thing in spirit. Haute translates literally to "high". (Full article...)
An 1814 engraved cartoon of a double entendre, a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué, inappropriate, or ironic. In this cartoon, the man says to the woman, "My sweet honey, I hope you are to be let with the Lodgins!" To this, she replies "No, sir, I am to be let alone." Here, the word "let" can mean either "to leave" or "to rent", so her response can be read to mean either that she wants the man to stop bothering her, or that she is available for a separate fee from the lodging.
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