Thai fashionistas do not have to look very far for remarkable designs and products, as many local forward-thinking fashion designers and brands now prove.by Kornkanok Yongsakul
Every year spectacular Fashion Weeks take place in capital cities around the world, unveiling trending collections for spring, summer, autumn, and winter seasons. Many avid Thai fashionistas take the hint from these Fashion Weeks, sometimes even following a fad that does match the climate in the kingdom. For example, it isn’t uncommon to see young women wearing winter jackets with wools and feather designs in them, which would be more suited to winter-wear in Japan or Korea, than in a tropical country like Thailand.
So here’s a reality check: Thais do not really need a woolen turtleneck or even a cashmere coat in their country, as the season here, so the saying goes, is simply, “hot, very hot, and extremely hot.” Maybe you can follow exactly the trends set by international designers when going to a cold country, but to wear them in Thailand? Please ladies, get real. Real fashionistas know what to wear, and when and where to wear them.
In fact, who says one can’t be a true-blue fashionista by following local trends in Thailand these days? There’s so much in the kingdom’s exquisite arts and crafts not to mention the environment, to help Thais develop their own unique sense and fashion style.
One only needs to look around to see how some truly inspired design ideas are coming from Thai designers and brands; designs for fashion apparels that would be perfect for both work and play. Thanks to organizations such as the Bangkok Fashion Society (BFS), which continues to support both established and upcoming designers, Thai contemporary fashion is really coming of age.
The BFS is a non-profit grouping of Thai designers and boutique brand owners who share the same vision and belief that Thai fashion and brands has got what it takes to compete with the best in the world, and who are dedicated to improving the present standards of design and product quality in accordance with international standards.
Brands such as Playhound, Tu’I Bag, Kloset, Senada, Tutti, Issue, Vikteerut, Curated, Something Boudoir, ASAVA, MILIN, Disaya, and Painkiller belong to this group.
These leading Thai brands are known for their remarkable designs and their high quality. Thai designers have been showing that they are not only creative, innovative, forward-thinking but also sometimes even ahead of their time in their fashion statements indeed. This was all too-evident during the recent BFS shows, where all the members of the group gave a preview of their spring/summer 2015 collections.
Let me introduce you to some of these great brands and enterprising designers who are setting the trends and directions of Thai fashion:
In a sparkling collection is called “Luscious Green,” Tutti unleashed a theme inspired by home cooking for summer. “Intimacy is our Main Recipe,” says the Tutti designer. With her designs, she “invites” the public to her house where she cooks her “Luscious Green” dishes with love.
The current Tutti collection is characterized by lovely layers of organza. A one-shoulder top is paired with a scallop-hem cotton pencil skirt. Then, there is the see-through polka dot, lace-layered, dress and long gown – definitely combining ageless romance with modern whimsy. The color palettes are deliciously soft, with pastel tones such as vanilla cream, mauve, pink, and pistachio green. Indeed, Tutti is for the girly women who adore details and enjoy their femininity.
Issue, as the brand implies, is for the strong character types, be they men or women. This is because Issue designs are bold, original, with ethnic prints, and adorned textiles that are not afraid to shout.
The recent collection, in particular — called “NAI By Issue”– takes fashionistas on a journey back to the royal scout camp. With a characteristic sense of Issue adventure, clothes are made from confortable printed cotton and nylon to appeal to those who enjoy sportswear looks, but with Issue’s specialties, which include embroideries with pearls and heavenly-beaded accessories.
People wearing an Issue design can be viewed as fun-loving and very individualistic; definitely not a mere trend-follower.
No doubt about it, this brand has a clear concept of modernity, simplicity, and practicality. Vikteerut’s latest collection, titled “Spirited Away,” easily proves the brand’s vision. This brand has a clear concept of modernity, simplicity, and practicality. Vikteerut clothes are draped, and crossed. We see cropped camisoles in body-fitting shapes with cutout detail on the sides and paired with high-waisted cigarette pants with a front twist made from fabric that have been coated with a leather touch. The shape is slim and efficient, easy and comfortable. And the colors are soft: white, mint green, smoky grey and caramel. They really are for everyday work wear.
The ASAVA brand defines the elegant, confident, and glamorous woman from head to toe with its collection titled, “The State Of Mind.” A woman who knows what she wants, a woman who is not afraid to show the world who see really is, a woman who enjoys being the center of attraction.
Her fashion statement is: “Times goes on, but we welcome the changes and discoveries that life presents.” ASAVA chooses to interpret the philosophy of women who are urban, sophisticated, realistic, and authentic, with eye-catching pieces that include oversized Poncho jumpsuits, and smart blazers, with skinny trousers in electric blue and white colors. The striking hues – so totally cool – are sheer stand-outs.
What I really admire about these collections is not only about how beautiful they are to look at but also how they are flattering to those who wear them. I am proud to wear these collections myself; they make me feel so fashionable and modern yer still so very much Thai. And I even haven’t mentioned all of the designers and brands here yet!