WOMEN OF THE WORLD
WOMEN OF THE WORLD
By Hoan K. Trinh
So I have this crazy idea of photographing at least one woman from every nationality in the world in their traditional dresses. Well first of all, that is quite a tall order; I don’t even know exactly how many countries are in existence in this world at the moment. I heard the number is around 200. Why do I want to do this? Well, it cold be quite interesting to see what beautiful women look like from around the world. Women can be beautiful regardless of their races or nationalities yet the different nationalities might a have completely different gene pools which would lead to many completely different form of beauty . Furthermore, different culture and custom will their own interpretation of what is beautiful which make things more diverse and confusing (a very good thing in this case) For example, and we will make this example extremely obvious, Ms. Finland, Ms. Egypt, Ms. Angola, Ms. China, and Ms. India are all extremely beautiful women, but none of them look anything like each other. It’s kind of like someone just completely reinvent the wheel and the results are just as striking each time. Point is, women from all over the world could be very beautiful yet they might not share one physical trait in common. The myth of blond hair and blue eyes will go down the toilet if you travel the world enough. If men deserve any credit for creating racial harmony in the world, they will acknowledge a beautiful woman when they see one, regardless of where she is from.
I am quite lucky that I live in America, because you can find just about every nationality from around the world right here in the U.S. So far, I have only done a couple of photoshoots with a couple of good friends, and being Vietnamese, I do also have access Vietnamese models. The project so far has not been extremely successful, because originally, I wanted to photograph my friends in their traditional dresses to highlight the look that they bring from their part of the world. However, except for my Vietnamese friends, everyone else only have traditional American clothing, otherwise known as jeans.
So, while this personal project is far from complete, I’ll share what I have so far.
This is my friend’s wife, Senida. I took this photograph on their wedding day a couple of years ago, I am not exactly sure what the difference is between Western and Eastern European wedding customs but I am sure there is some subtle differences ones might notice. The first time that I saw this photo on the screen, I immediately though of Russian princesses, probably because of the Eastern European connection.
I originally wanted to take picture with Kimi in a traditional Chinese cheongsam, but she never had one before. Well, at least those who are reading my blog in the English speaking world will have more appreciation for Chinese beauties.
The photoshoot with my friend Erin was taken on the beach in Norwalk, Connecticut. So while the scenery may look like it belong to an island nation, it is just Connecticut. The beach in the winter is quite empty making it a decent place for a photoshoot. Again, Erin did not have the traditional Filipinos baro at saya but at least now you know what Filipinos beauties would look like.
The Vietnamese traditional ao dai is still quite popular in contemporary Vietnamese history. It a silk dress so it would be quite comfortable yet it hug tightly to body making the dress quite attractive. Also, the fact that the ao dai cover everything from head to toe make it a very modest dress. Traditionally, photographing the ao dai use very soft lighting and relaxed poses to bring out the elegant often associated with traditional dress. This was how I shot the photo, using soft natural light as well as having a very relaxed pose by the model to have a slightly more traditional and “country” appeal. However, I don’t think the ao dai have to be restrictive to such traditional and “country” style. In the second photograph, using harsher artificial lighting as well as having the model in a more sensual pose in a more modernized setting, I tried to establish a place for the ao dai in the more contemporary world. The third photograph is somewhere in between the first and second photograph.
This is all I have so far, I will update this article as I meet more people from around the world.