ELLE Thailand Fashion Week AW15: Day 2 (Part 2)
Florence acquires a newfound appreciation for the Thai fashion scene and falls irrevocably in love with some of the night's loveliest creations
The second show of the night: ten leading Thai designers and two young emerging designers back-to-back in what they call The Ultimate Showcase. ASV by Asava's stellar showing before this had left us on such a high that we were especially eager to see more Thai designs of such caliber.
First up, Sarran. A young jewellery designer who sent out models clad in tightly laced-up corsets and gorgeous clean slates of white dresses by POEM. Each model strode out regally wearing one-of-a-kind statement jewellery that was tribal and organic in essence, yet wonderfully architectural and industrial in design at the same time. Each piece was more striking than the one before it. Necklaces and bangles were large and oversized, and everything was befitting of a tribal warrior queen. Interestingly, we also found out later on that these were aromatic jewellery pieces which have been scented using Thai potpourri.
In what was an elegantly seamless transition, came the next designer, Kerdkaew. Having read the show notes before this, I was extremely excited for his collection which was said to be inspired by the "world after suicide by hanging". Dark stuff (which we love). I anticipated black, lots of it, and designs that were gothic and even macabre, but they were anything but. Instead, there were beautiful modern pieces - mostly white, with fabrics that were fluid and flowy and of course, there had to be sheer (a representation of the lightness of being in the otherworld perhaps?). The collection also boasted some of the most intricate pleat work and complex rope textures that we've ever seen. Everything evoked a sense of zen and calm even as the eerie, haunting soundtrack provided the perfect set-up for the 'otherworld'.
Then, it was ASV by Asava's sophisticated elder sister's turn to show. Under the Asava line, pieces were clean, modern and minimalistic. It was an aesthetic that we could well appreciate. Billowy evening gowns and basic staple pieces were ultra light, in weight and colour. Both featured simple timeless cuts and were done up in soft, elegant fabrics of satin or silk chiffon that fell gracefully on the body. Details were kept to a bare minimum with elegant draping or one shoulder designs. It was a collection that clearly reflected the founder and creative director, Polpat Asavaprapha's background working for equally minimalistic and modern labels such as Giorgio Armani and Max Mara.
While we loved the understated aesthetics that kicked off the show, we were ready for a visual feast for the eyes. Enter Curated and Issue who both transported audiences over to a raw and untouched Africa. Textures ran wild over at Curated as designers gave us wonderfully structured shapes, laser cut details and intricate bead work. Colours were bright and punchy while the leather work here was one of the evening's best. Inspired by African tribal masks, faces were embossed onto the back of leather jackets or cut and patched onto sweaters and skirts. The large overstated earrings also deserve a special mention. It was evident that they referenced oversized jewellery worn by African tribes, but the shiny metal materials used were anything but outdated in design.
If Curated gave us a refined Africa, Issue's captured nothing but raw, striped down tribal energy. Clothes were a riot featuring a cacophony of ethnic prints splashed all over trouser suits, long folksy dresses and bomber jackets. But look closer and you'll find cheeky characters that look part of a Mario video game and the brand name cleverly embedded in said prints. Clothes gave off a distinct health goth vibe, but models played the part of a Mexican Chola with kiss curls and face bijoux a la Givenchy.
We were halfway through the mid mark of the show as Flynow came on. I was curious as to what the main line would look like having seen their crazy sister line III by Flynow on the first night. I expected drama (who wouldn't?) and I wasn't disappointed. No stranger to theatricality, Flynow sent models down the runway with their faces fully covered in black nets and clothes that one would easily describe as haute couture Victorian corporate. Victorian because of the puffy sleeves and lace up corsets with black ribbons; corporate due to its steely grey palette and usage of what we guessed was tweed. There was volume, masterful fabric manipulation and so much beauty that it brought tears to our eyes.
There was something for everyone and every occasion in Greyhound Original. After they took it to the streets with casual, oversized sweaters and one-of-a-kind lace suits emblazoned with cheeky phrases and prints (our favourite one being the Rolling Stones-esque cigarette toting mouth print sweater), they cleaned up their act with more grown-up pieces that would fit right into the typical working women's wardrobe.
Afterwards, it was all colour and print. We oohed and aahed particularly much to Kloset – one of our absolute favorites of the night. Inspired by Amy Winehouse's 'Love is Losing Game', the mood of the collection was unmistakably playful and cheeky. So much that it made us want to get up and dance right in the middle of the show. Just look at the dresses and coats embellished with fun, girlish scribbles, Queen of Cards, roses, stars, cupids and sassy pop art prints– the whole shebang! So. much.fun!
Milin kept up the upbeat vibe with their 'Swinging Darling' collection. A tribute to the swinging sixties, of course. We couldn't help but feel like our florescent highlighters and post-it pads were finally having their moment on stage. Very cool. It was all distinctly bubbly and youthful - think bright neon colours (done to tasteful effect, mind you) on frilly crop tops and swishy wide-legged trousers. Even when paired with sheer shimmery mesh material and silver knee-high gladiators, the florescent shades and dramatic ruffles of the clothes never once felt tacky.
Painkiller isn't a collection that would make you do a double take. The pieces are simple and straightforward in muted, neutral tones. But pay the pieces a little more attention and you'll realise the thought that goes into the tiny details. This time, designers employed op art graphics – distorted pockets, stripes and playful geometrics to give their casual collection a subtle twist.
Oh, beautiful, beautiful Vatit Itthi. Where do I even begin? It's tough not to wax lyrical about the utterly dreamy collection especially when my heart still flutters every time I look at the pieces. Gorgeous weightless gowns to the floor, muted dusky shades, light airy fabrics, delicate sheer inserts and elegant detailing (that button detail all the way up the spine though). Dresses were decidedly pretty, feminine and uncomplicated, yet romantic and poetic. Just the way they should be. Besides, any collection that brings to mind the storied Italian house, Valentino, can do no wrong. At least, in our books.
Black and white did all the talking in Vickteerut's collection. Even in a monotone palette, the clothes retained a certain softness and gracefulness to it. Shapes were loose and flowy – think pleated trench-coat dresses and shapeless blazer dresses - but a much needed frisson of sex came with plunging necklines and diaphanous peek-a-boo panels to balance out the simplicity of the designs. The overall mood of the collection was relaxed, and the clothes commercially viable, but each piece was none the less desirable.
The rest of Vickteerut's collection continued in that similar uncomplicated vein until the final model took her place. Then it was time for the grand finale with all twelve labels taking the stage to wrap up what was truly, the ultimate showcase.