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I interrupt the regularly scheduled chronological travel tales to bring you – ta da! A fashion show! We met Californians Jim and Lily, another itinerant couple, on a boat trip to a cave temple down river. They told us about The Hive and invited us to join them there for dinner with another couple. The company was great, the food was excellent, but the best thing of all was the fashion show! No, not what you think! It was a showing of the traditional clothing of all the different ethnic groups of Laos. Apparently The Hive has an even better collection of these outfits than the museum. It would not surprise me.

What also impressed me was the rambling, L-shaped, tri-level stage, the backdrops, the choreography as the models moved back and forth through the three levels of the stage in a carefully rehearsed ‘dance’, and the poise of the young Lao men and women modeling the clothing. The owner of The Hive said they were all a bit shy when they first started, but two years later they have clearly morphed into seasoned professionals.

I would love to have been able to travel to villages where the people still dressed in their traditional clothing, if such a thing still exists in Laos, and as we did in northern Vietnam, and Myanmar. But this was certainly the next best thing. I was completely captivated.

Almost all the photos are from only one level of the stage as it was the closest to where I was sitting, and also happened to have the simplest backdrop so interferes least with viewing the clothing. To simplify things even further I blacked out all the seriously distracting foliage in the background. Photoshop is my friend :)

I’m fairly certain this is the clothing of the Flower Hmong. The woman is dressed similarly to those we saw in Bac Ha in Vietnam. See this post: http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/west-australia-vietnam/ I even have a photo of me wearing one of those beaded hats. I would have included it but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) it lives on a memory stick in our storage locker in Vancouver.

These final three photos show a modern, fashionable take on traditional outfits.

And after the fashion parade? What else? A hip hop show! A group of teenage boys showing their moves! All having a great time, and some of them really really good. What a joyous way to end a fabulous evening.

© Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – not just a travel blog, 2010-2013.