De­sign­ers’ Den

Escape! Malaysia - - Bangkok -

When it comes to Thai fash­ion, tourists all over will point to whole­sale malls and street mar­kets as their go-to for quick and cheap fash­ion finds. But the fash­ion in­dus­try in Thai­land, and Bangkok, es­pe­cially, is see­ing a shift in in­ter­est in what lo­cals are able to present to the world on the lux­ury front. In­ter­na­tional crit­ics may be over­look­ing de­sign­ers from Thai­land for the more prom­i­nent names in other cos­mopoli­tan cities, such as Sin­ga­pore and Seoul, but there’s no deny­ing that Thai de­sign­ers are rapidly mak­ing their way up to the top.

Thai fash­ion de­sign­ers have been crit­i­cally ac­claimed for their cre­ativ­ity and their abil­ity to seam­lessly in­te­grate tex­tures and a mish­mash of prints to­gether for dif­fer­ent looks that are all a re­flec­tion of the dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties that cre­ate these wear­able works of art. Thai de­sign­ers are slowly gain­ing the recog­ni­tion they de­serve that even public fig­ures like, Kim Kar­dashian and even First Lady Michelle Obama have worn gar­ments by home­grown Thai la­bels.

There are many places on­line, like Zalora, where la­bels by Thai fash­ion de­sign­ers can be found. Many of these de­sign­ers also sell direct to buy­ers through their on­line store. But if mak­ing a trip to Bangkok, there are thank­fully, many places to find such cov­eted pieces by Thai de­sign­ers be­fore the rest of the world fights for them. Names that reg­u­larly pop up are Siam Paragon, Cen­tralworld, and Gaysorn. These three malls may be well known for the glam­orous lux­ury brands they carry but they are also where many home­grown brands have set up shop within the city cen­tre.

Siam Paragon car­ries some of the big­ger names, such as fam­ily af­fair, Sret­sis, dayto-night wear Asava, and avant-garde Fly­now. Over at Cen­tralworld are the OGS of Thai lux­ury fash­ion, such as Kai, who men­tored an­other Thai de­signer, Tawn Chatchavalvong, win­ner of VOGUE’S Who’s On Next com­pe­ti­tion. Disaya, who has dressed icons like Ri­hanna and Jen­nifer Lopez also holds res­i­dency at Cen­tralworld. For higher-end names, Gaysorn is the mall to visit. In ad­di­tion to some of the names pre­vi­ously men­tioned, those who also own shops here are brands like Is­sue, whose de­signer, Roj Sing­hakul, has show­cased his Ori­en­tal-in­spired de­signs on Amer­ica’s Next Top Model, and Phuket Mer­maids, who pro­vides lux­ury and higher qual­ity swimwear to var­i­ous pageants around the world.

But apart from fash­ion, Thai de­sign­ers are also win­ning on the prod­uct front. Known as “life­style de­sign­ing”, these de­sign­ers are rein­vent­ing the things we use in our home, such as our fur­ni­ture, light­ing and other items that merge aes­thet­ics with func­tion. Check out Thon­glor and the neigh­bour­ing area for the show­rooms of Thai de­sign­ers. Award-win­ning Dee­sawat, who cre­ates any­thing from fur­ni­ture to floor­ing, and eco-friendly home dec­o­ra­tion bou­tique, Cor­ner 43 Dé­cor, both have con­cept rooms in the area for keen buy­ers to pe­ruse. For a one-stop shop, try The Jam Fac­tory lo­cated on “the other side” of the river. The for­mer fac­tory has been trans­formed to in­clude an art gallery and restau­rant but the front of the space sells a cu­ra­tion of prod­ucts from Thai de­sign­ers and in­ter­na­tional nov­els trans­lated into Thai.

OP­PO­SITE PAGE Many Thai de­sign­ers who first made in­ter­na­tional head­lines now own their own spa­ces at Cen­tralworld THIS PAGE Along­side lux­ury in­ter­na­tional brands are lo­cal Thai de­sign­ers at Siam Paragon

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