Painter Nguyen Cat Tuong, also known by the pseudonym Tuong Lemur Cat, was a Vietnamese artist who made significant contributions to the world of fashion and beauty. Born in 1912 in Son Tay, Hanoi, Cat Tuong revolutionized the traditional Vietnamese ao dai by introducing bold reforms and calling it Lemur.Ao Dai. Let’s explore the life and works of this talented painter.
A Visionary Artist with a Passion for Fashion
Cat Tuong’s journey as an artist began in 1928 when he enrolled in the Indochina Fine Arts College. After completing his studies in 1933, he embarked on a quest to promote the beauty and well-being of Vietnamese women through his artwork and designs.
Redefining Women’s Clothing
In 1934, Cat Tuong was given the opportunity to write a new column in the Phong Hoa newspaper titled “Personal Beauty for Ladies,” assigned by the renowned writer Nhat Linh. In his articles, Cat Tuong analyzed the drawbacks of traditional women’s clothing and proposed changes that would better suit the Vietnamese climate and improve comfort and health. He advocated for different sets of clothing designed for specific purposes, such as home, swimming, and parties. Every detail, from collars and sleeves to buttons and lapels, was carefully considered to elevate the overall experience of wearing these clothes.
Establishing Lemur Tailor
In 1937, Cat Tuong and his wife opened a shop called “Lemur Tailor.” The name Lemur was derived from the French word for wall, and it perfectly captured Cat Tuong’s artistic vision. Lemur Tailor quickly gained popularity and became a preferred destination for the fashionable ladies and gentlemen of the time.
Spring Today newspaper front page, Tet 1940
A Multifaceted Visionary
While Cat Tuong is widely recognized as the creator of the Vietnamese Ao Dai, his contributions went beyond designing iconic costumes. He was a fashion author with an eye for detail, providing guidance on various aspects of women’s beauty and style. From recommending the use of powder cream and makeup techniques to advising on hair, shoes, jewelry, and fabric colors, Cat Tuong aimed to empower Vietnamese women with the knowledge and tools to enhance their personal style.
Some Works of the Painter Nguyen Cat Tuong
One of the styles of sleeves, pants, and ao dai designed by artist Cat Tuong.
One of the styles of shoes and sandals designed by the artist Cat Tuong.
Queen Nam Phuong wears Lemur Ao Dai.
Hanoi Girls in Long Lemur Dress.
Mrs. Hoa Van in Lemur 1983 New Fall Dress.
Cat Tuong’s impact on Vietnamese fashion and the cultural landscape cannot be overstated. His creations continue to inspire and amaze people to this day. In addition to his artistic pursuits, Cat Tuong played a vital role in the fine art section of various newspapers and collaborated with esteemed individuals, leaving behind valuable information about his life and career.
The wedding of painter Cat Tuong (standing left, arms outstretched) and Mrs. Nguyen Thi Noi (wearing a white ao dai, walking with the bridesmaids). All the brides and bridesmaids wear Lemur dresses.
To learn more about the fascinating world of Caravansarai and explore other captivating stories, visit Caravansarai.