PATCHARAVIPA BODIRATNANGKURA

Lit­tle Trea­sures

Prestige (Thailand) - - CONTENTS -

When Patcharavipa opened the doors to its first bou­tique last spring, it did not boast the hall­marks of a typ­i­cal fine jew­ellery store. If any­thing, it felt more like step­ping into a quarry – al­beit the most pol­ished and brightly-lit one you will ever see. Nes­tled in the aus­tere Bhakdi Build­ing on Wire­less Road, sur­rounded by an­tique teak houses like Nai Lert Park Her­itage Home, the bou­tique ex­udes the pared-down cool that hip multi-la­bel stores like to sport. Slowly but steadily, it is be­com­ing the sort of place fre­quented by sub­tle so­phis­ti­cates and fash­ion-for­ward de­sign con­nois­seurs – rather than grand dames merely out to shop for baubles.

That its founder and de­signer is a cool, art girl clearly has a hand in that. In a sea of so­cialites, Patcharavipa “Pat” Bodiratnangkura is rarely decked out in state­ment-mak­ing en­sem­bles, yet catches all eyes any­way for her quiet beauty and ef­fort­less al­lure. The pieces she de­signs fol­low suit: they do not beg to be seen and, like its cre­ator, man­i­fests an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the works of great artists.

Cou­pled with the tex­tures of na­ture that the youngest grand­daugh­ter of the Park Nai Lert clan also likes to in­cor­po­rate, Patcharavipa is quite un­like any­thing that’s usu­ally seen in the fine jew­ellery mar­ket. Think rings in­spired by the imag­i­nary union of a tulip and poi­sonous mush­room, or ex­tremely minis­cule zo­diac neck­laces.

Cham­pi­oning un­usual de­signs, rather than the value of the ma­te­ri­als

or stone size, it seems a given that the brand would make its way to pres­ti­gious stock­ists around the world such as Dover Street Mar­ket ( Lon­don, New York, Sin­ga­pore), Jef­frey ( USA), Lane Craw­ford ( Hong Kong), as well as on­line re­tail­ers. Now well into its fifth col­lec­tion, this year’s Spring/sum­mer of­fer­ing of “Twisted” delves onto new wa­ters ( lit­er­ally) and spring­boards from the stills of famed Ja­panese pho­tog­ra­pher and con­tem­po­rary artist Nobuyoshi Araki.

“This col­lec­tion was in­spired by the pho­tog­ra­phy of Araki – with how he used ropes on women af­ter the WWII pe­riod,” Pat ex­plains. “In his work, women were erotic and sen­sual, with ropes mixed up with their bod­ies. When I saw his work, I felt that it’s very scary, but beau­ti­ful. It’s a beau­ti­fully dark im­age and I have loved his work for a long time. I con­trasted that with nor­mal ropes from mar­itime knots and used the sim­plic­ity of rope sil­hou­ettes and knots as a start­ing point for this col­lec­tion.”

Play­ing with as­tound­ingly small scales and in­tri­cacy, one of the new tech­niques this sea­son sees strands of 18kt Siam gold get­ting hand-wo­ven to cre­ate a seam­less and un­end­ing rope-like tex­ture. As a brand that rev­els in the itty-bitty, these rope-like de­tails metic­u­lously adorn small hoop ear­rings, bracelets and rings. They are paired with a mod­est sprin­kle of diamonds, or Tza­vorites if you go for the black gold edi­tion, but also mother-of-pearl in­lays. This is where Patcharavipa takes you out to sea for the first time: mother-of-pearl seashells are cut into the tee­ni­est of pieces and are laid out in a pleas­antly at­trac­tive mo­saic style.

Only upon closer in­spec­tion would one see that it be­holds the del­i­cate crafts­man­ship of a master­piece, de­spite look­ing like the sort of piece ver­sa­tile enough for any oc­ca­sion.

It’s also some­thing men could eas­ily pick up – this be­ing an­other stand­out char­ac­ter­is­tic of Patcharavipa. “Jew­ellery is very fem­i­nine but I de­sign quite uni­sex,” says the 27-year-old. “There’s a need in terms of men want­ing to wear jew­ellery. I love to de­sign for peo­ple; some­times I see peo­ple and think of things that would suit them. When I do, it turns out to be some­thing any­one can wear.”

Then, there is prac­ti­cal­ity – an­other thread that has al­ways run through the col­lec­tions since she launched her brand in 2014, af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Cen­tral Saint Martins School of Art and De­sign in Lon­don. “I want to de­sign items that peo­ple can wear every­day,” Pat says of her de­sign ethos. “Peo­ple want to wear some­thing small – some­thing they don’t need to take off when they go to sleep, like hoop ear­rings. If not, then they are com­pletely non­sense.”

This ex­plains the fin­ger­nail-sized gold shells em­bed­ded with pre­cious stones that can also be found in the Twisted col­lec­tion. Since the first col­lec­tion of Tiny, where zo­diac charms of an­i­mals were barely larger than 1cm, it be­comes ap­par­ent that Patcharavipa still has a pen­chant for the fun and cheeky. There is no ap­par­ent use for these shell ob­jects, lest one would like to splurge on a new Lil­liputian fridge mag­net.

Pat’s de­light shines through as she talks of these ob­jects with a smile.

“I WANT TO DE­SIGN ITEMS THAT PEO­PLE CAN WEAR EVERY­DAY”

“At first I called them non­sense ob­jects be­cause it’s so non­sense but it also show­cases a new tech­nique. It’s mag­netic so you can stick it on your fridge. That’s just so fun. You can eas­ily change it into a stud pin too. Some peo­ple wear it as ear­rings, which is very cute.”

Cute is not usu­ally the word as­so­ci­ated with this brand, bet­ter known for flaunt­ing or­ganic feels (co­conut husk rings) and raw tex­tures (sta­lac­tite ear­rings), but an­other first for Patcharavipa is their launch of hair clips. Brass-plated with 18kt Siam yel­low gold, Pat’s clips come with Rus­sian emer­alds or blue diamonds, if not the col­lec­tion’s main mo­tif of ropes. “It’s child­hood-like and brings that sense of se­cu­rity,” she pon­ders. “There’s ropes on it too but it also ties in with what ropes stand for – which is se­cu­rity and en­durance.”

Pat picks up an­other cute item from the col­lec­tion which she names as her fa­vorite: the But­ter­fly Hoop ear­rings that have petite dan­gling Bri­o­lette- cut diamonds. As she lov­ingly praises its colour and “super small size”, it be­comes clear that she does not see it as mere jew­ellery, but as a true work of art. She en­thu­si­as­ti­cally en­cour­ages ev­ery­one around her to try it on, fully know­ing they might not have amy in­ten­tion of buy­ing any­thing. “Jew­ellery like this you need to come look at of­ten and try it on, be­cause when you buy once, it’s some­thing that’s there for a long time. I want peo­ple to keep com­ing back and col­lect the pieces. I don’t want them to just buy and it’s over. Drop by, even if you just want to look.”

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