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tv   Asia Insight  PBS  April 23, 2016 12:00am-12:31am PDT

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♪ ♪ standing 178 centimeters tall, she is stunning. she is one of vietnams top
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models. after winning a national pageant in 2014, she competed the following year in the miss world pageant and placed 11th. 51-year-old is her training and he turned her into a top model. su has trained more than 500 models for many years and he's considered the king in in this edition of "asia insight" we follow the man who brings out the best in vietnamese beauty. ♪
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ho chi minh city with a population of 8 million is vietnam's center of commerce. every year, young women's fashions are becoming more glamorous than ever thanks to a burgeoning economy. located at the city center, there are five kilometer of shops with fashion brands. vietnam's apparel market has doubled in the past decade. today, it is approximately a $3 billion annual business. the boom has created a growing
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demand for fashion the city is home to some 20 modeling agencies. viet star is one of them. it's run by hoang ngoc su. known as a pioneer among fashion models, su is highly regarded in his profession. >> translator: gentle grace is what i like most about vietnamese beauty. the traditional vietnamese brings out the gentle grace in feminine beauty. this is what i cherish the most. >> su's fashion modeling students have gathered at his
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office for at 16 years old, this girl is the youngest modeling student at the agency. one year after convincing su to take her in, she has finally earned her chance to take formal lessons. su trains five modeling students together with the 30 models at his agency.
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for them, the youngest of them all, this is her third studio lesson. ♪ su teaches her the basic movements step by
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the studio is not the only place where su teaches. this shop specializes in the traditional dress of vietnam. len is getting her lesson wearing the alzi for the first time. su says practicing in the alzi brings out the gentle grace in a
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woman. 30 minutes into the lesson, lan
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is looking more graceful. this girl is 20 years old. su discovered her two years ago in the su believes his protoge is a star in the making. she will make her debut as a >> translato i've trained mode for manyyears. moment i san aura. she's more than tall with a beautiful face. she's gentle as well. i thought she'd make a wonderful
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model. >> at 182 centimeters tall, she stands head and shoulders above most vietnamese women. when su discovered her, she was still in high school. >> translator: at first, i was afraid of him and didn't believe him. i had never modeled before. so i thought he was trying to trick me. >> she has always been extremely self-conscious of her height, she says, but now her height is her ticket and she is dreaming of standing on the world stage. >> translator: su's taught me
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how to shine my brightest and attract people on stage. now my goal is to compete in the miss asean contest in australia. i want to become a model that represents not only vietnam but the entire world. >> the miss asean pageant is two months away. the gown she will wear in the competition is ready. it's a gown with a long train that evokes images of a mermaid. su believes the color red brings out the best in her beauty.
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su seems quite pleased with the finished gown. next, they visit an alzi boutique. for the miss asean pageant, su chooses an alzi in white, the most traditional color. the crane symbolizes peace and freedom for vietnam. su tells her to run through her stage
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su will continue to train her until the pageant.
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su was born in 1964 in the poor city of vietnam during the height of the vietnam war. as one of the largest military strongholds in north vietnam, it was a target of intense bombing raids. >> translator: i was just 4 at the time. my parents packed our household belongings and pulled a cattle wagon. we escaped to a neighboring province on foot. the americans bombed a pier along our way. i remember how the sky became fiery red. i was very terrified. i can't forget.
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>> the vietnam war ended in 1975 when su was 10. but after the war, su and his family struggled and lived hand to mouth. amid such hardship, su found his callin calling. >> translator: i was in the fifth grade when the war ended and someone began teaching traditional dance near where i lived. i loved to dance so i joined the class. >> su was 22 when major economic reforms began. ♪
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there was a sudden flood of foreign culture such as magazines and movies into the country. inspired by what he saw, su began taking tango and balance room dancing classes. he earned his teaching credentials and opened his own dancing studio. this is a video taken by nhk during that time. ♪ su then began training fashion
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models. beauty pageants took place in many places of vietnam. su decided to enter his students. entirely by himself, su came up with a teaching program. >> translator: i've watched beauty pageants on tv and think, i can do this. ballroom dancing is difficult and takes time to learn but walking comes naturally to everyone. to become a model, all you need to do is practice your expressions and learn how to walk gracefully. that was why i started training models. i would get up onto the stage
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myself and practice walking. i learned what impresses the judges most. >> this is a video from 1999 about hanoi beauty pageant. su entered his protoge. she wore purple to make an impression on the it worked. she made it all the way to the finals and won a prize. to pursue even bigger dreams, su moved to ho chi minh city in
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2000. su lives in a blue-collar neighborhood of the city. he says he likes it there because it reminds him of where he grew up. he has lived here for 16 years. the one room apartment is almost -- >> translator: it's just me so this is convenient. i don't need much else. >> he spent every moment thinking about how to make vietnamese women appear more
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beautiful. a 13-year-old girl and her mother pay su a call. she dreams of becoming a fashion model. still, su tells her to make her studies a priority. he wants her to understand that modeling is more than just
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exterior beauty. it's also about refining one self through education. ♪ su visits a manufacturer's showroom. the company's manufacturer sells
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party gowns and wedding dresses. thanks to su, their sales have been growing annually by nearly 20%. the company launches new designs on a three-month cycle so this upcoming round wants to hold an event. su proposes doing a fashion show in order to take full advantage of the showroom >> translator: we've worked with su for a long time. he's very well known in the fashion industry.
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we always have su introduce our new dresses. >> the day of the event has arrived. these two will both be part of the show. su wants them to gain experience doing fashion shows. su has chosen nine models for the show, seven women and two men. the female models will each wear one new party dress and one wedding gown. during this event, su will try out a concept he has been nurturing for some time. ♪
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his idea is to do a fashion show with vietnamese folk songs. su grew up listening to traditional songs like >> translator: i've always felt i wanted to combine a fashion show with traditional folk songs. it would highlight the beauty of vietnamese women. so for the first time, i've decided to make traditional folk songs a part of the show. i'm sure everyone will like it. >> su dons his suit and does a
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final check. the press has the show begins. then it's her first time modeling a >> she tries it once more.
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this time, she does it correctly. the first half of the show featured new party dress designs. she makes an appearance wearing red, the color su thinks brings out the best in her.
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now the second half of the show begins. ♪ ♪ >> it is su's first attempt at using vietnamese folk music. ♪ it [ applause ] the hour long show of new dress
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designs comes to a successful close. >> translator: the show went well tonight. i think the wedding dress and folk music was especially in good harmony. i'm going to do my best to make vietnam's models be equals of any in the world, cherishing their gentle grace. >> for 25 years, su has nurtured vietnam's models. now he is ready to take on the world. ♪
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>> "global 3000" goes to china. the country needs more children to help care for an aging population. and we travel along the mekong in cambodia in search of the last river dolphins. but first, what happens when baby-making becomes a business? the history of in vitro fertilization began just 37 years ago. the first baby conceived through in vitro fertilization. in july 1978, the birth of louise joy brown made headlines around the world. baby-making still requires an egg and a sperm cell. but apart from that, there's no


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