When I think of brands that come out of Asia, the stereotype goes that there isn’t a lot of creativity or originality. In Bangkok for fashion week though, I was incredibly impressed with the amount of color, fantasy, prints and how the brands build up their own “worlds” through visual merchandising so well.
Curated by Ek Thongprasert is the clothing line of the designer who is mostly well-known for his amazing rubber jewelry. The clothing line for AW 2013 is just brilliant as it’s printed with dark art-deco graphics like its straight out of the movie “METROPOLIS”. I’ve never seen his clothing here in Tokyo, but his jewelry is available!
Speaking of accessories, the only thing that got me OUT of the AB-normal shop at Siam Center and drooling all over the accessories was that I was going to miss lunchtime. The wire and crystal pieces in hugely exaggerated sizes like armor—- and the designer was so awesome and came into the shop incase I or any other buyers or media had any questions. I am a huge fan of buying from brands where I can meet the designer personally. It really puts meaning to the clothes in my closet and it’s why I buy locally for most of my wardrobe.
One of the most incredible shops on the 3rd floor of Siam mall was by Thai brand “Fly Now”. The interior design and visual merchandising was so fantasmic I couldn’t help wondering what the story was behind it all. I ran into one of the designers and she started telling me a story about a girl and biology, evolution, and I was like “wow”…
I am just KICKING myself for not picking up some dresses and tops from LLLL while I was shopping at Siam. See, I saw the pop-up shop, thought it was all SO cute, but then saw the “london” in the brand name and was like “I`m only buying Thai brands today, not imports.” and then found out it IS a Thai brand. :( These prints…the like the icecream volcano and cotton-candy head man are so much fun and I want to wear fun!
Greyhound is one of the most popular brands from Thailand and it was a part of fashion week with a huge show in an old movie theater. Personally, I am more of a fan of their younger, fresher line called “Playhound” where I picked up some glittery, silvery shoes with bows all up the front and metallic wedge heel♥ When the designer of Greyhound came out I made him stand behind the glass with me and “pretend we’re stuck inside!”. I think they thought I told them to look dead. Oops! Lol.
This also was a store that I went into without knowing anything about it, I just liked how it looked like the inside of a giant melting icecream cone. Everything in the store was dripping with sugar and spice and everything nice. I picked up a skirt that was sickly sweet, with doodles of unicorns and rainbows that will look perfect with a black leather jacket.
So there’s your checklist! See anything you like? I mentioned to someone how Thai designs are just so damn HAPPY. I mean, everything is so cute and bright and peppy and young. I think that if any gothic brands come out they might make a killing there just by being different *hint hint*
PART 2 バンコックのブーム！ELLE主催２０１３年SSファッションウィークでタイを体験してきました！
The thing about Elle Fashion Week in Bangkok is that because its perpetually hot around the year, the local designers have little to no sense of seasons. So then the fashion industry became this little self-contained world where the brands just each have their own shops in malls and don’t have to worry so much about selling to multi-brand stores inside and outside Thailand. So Elle Fashion Week is essentially for the customers, and a showing on-season of the 2013 SS collections. So there would be people in the audience wearing the same exact outfit from the runway that they just bought in store. It was a little bit “Tokyo Girls Collection” in that sense, but it still wasn’t as open to regular fans so I found it a bit disappointing in that sense (after all, Japan gets 50,000+ girls to PAY for tickets to on-season fashion shows!)
But you know what WASN’T disappointing? The quality of the visuals and commercials surrounding the fashion week. They were SO cool. Including this one, “rebirth” that played before every show. Just watch it, and try not to be creeped out. I just LOVED it.
Ok, back to Bangkok. Top picture: out hotel, the Centara Grand at Central World. The architecture on this thing was so slammin! Check out the arches because they are going to be key in just a second…
Below: Dinner at the top of Central World after a long day of fashion shows, at the most stylish place we’d been to. There’s a pool of water like a moat around each table inside so the trick is not to get too drunk to step in it. I wonder how often it happens.
Michel and I jaunted back to our hotel for a little drinky-drink at the Skybar at the top. This bar was the most amazing I had ever seen! Michel here used to work for Givenchy in Tokyo, but now he is buyer for a concept shop in Bangkok. We got there late already and the live DJ was wrapping up his set. It was way past closing time, so they finally kicked us out and I tried to get some sleep for my last day. I remember other members of the team in the same elevator LEAVING the hotel as I was stumbling tiredly to my room. I stayed up all night previously updating the blog and answering emails…the life of a blogger…means staying in when everyone else is having fun sometimes! It’s responsibility after all.
Above: my final day, all dressed up for the temple and my appointments with the Sretsis girls and Moo from Moo Eyewear.
Wearing: Leopard dress with cape, Tulle mint and white striped sweater, vintage skirt, FINSK shoes, Plumb “mardi gras” wig, mame bag and Ad-hoc visor I just bought. Everything else is kinda stuff I had in my suitcase.
It was SO HOT this day but women are not allowed to show shoulders and knees in the temple so I dressed accordingly. I am here with friend Jason Campbell, a personal stylist from LA. I got to know him in Brazil during the Rio and Sao Paulo fashion weeks and I was there when he bought the OSKLEN pants he’s wearing now about 3 or 4 years ago. Total coincidence, and brought back a lot of memories (I`m going to have to pull out my pants I got on the same day and wear them again!).
Below: The most major temple in Bangkok. Everything here was SO gold! No sugarcoating it here; you were blinded by the sheen of it. And there’s so much design doing on, I needed to pay attention. But all I could focus on was how HOT it was +_+
Below: Finally, it was time for the last show of the week. Sonja owns one of the world’s most-watched shops in Shanghai “ALTER”, and I personally think it is one of the best in the WORLD (she also won the WGSN “best new store in the world award” 2012…incredible) . Sonja and I have very similar taste, although since she is in China she goes more “cool” while me being in Tokyo means its more “sweet”. Still , one brand we both love the same is MOO EYEWEAR. We met the designer before this show so we both rocked our new pairs of sunglasses for the photo ops. I can’t wait to present the new collection to you! The lookbook is to die for.
Above and below: At the Kloset show. At one point, a model came strutting out with a colorfully painted poodle on a leash. Right in front of me, the dog breaks loose from the leash and the model just keeps walking. So then the tropical canine starts running amuck, sniffing people, and finally leaves a present before being apprehended (…funniest. thing. EVER.)
Above: For the last excursion, all of us left standing were going on a cruise of the bay for dinner. I was so stoked, I love these things…. Below: Yu Masui ballin. He proves time and again that he is so confident and master of his own unique style. He wears a ton of local British brands, like Mawi and this JW Anderson ensemble. We joke that he is me in London and I am him in Tokyo. The Prada headband just made it so perfectly OTT.
Above: Thanks to the awesome guys and gals of Paris’ ROMEO SHOWROOM.
Below: My room after 4 days… I just slept on one side of the bed and left my stuff on the other side.
At the airport, saying goodbye to Thailand. I left on the earliest flight, at 8am to make it to Tokyo back in time to DJ at Kira Kira at CLASKA and I *still* didn’t make it back in time, missing my gig. If you’re flying out of the Bangkok airport be warned that it takes at LEAST 2 hours to get to your gate… I’m not kidding, I barely made it! So don’t be late!
I really can’t wait to visit again, because I didn’t get to go to any markets, see the ocean, do any nightlife or finish my SHOPPING. And even though I didn’t do any of those things, the city still left a huge impression on me. That speaks louder than anything else! (except for the traffic. I could do without the traffic.)
A week before Tokyo Fashion Week was Elle Fashion Week Bangkok and the Bangkok International Fashion Fair (BIFF). I traveled with a HUGE group of almost 100 people invited from around the world, including 40 buyers and 20 media journalists and a few bloggers. This was the best of the world, with Barneys, H Lorenzo, Vogue and many of China and HK’s top boutiques in attendance. it was my first time in Bangkok and I was extremely excited to be there since some of my most favorite Asian brands are all from Thailand (Sretsis, Moo Eyewear, Wonder Anatomie and more). What would the fashion week, the city, the colors, the clothes, the fashionistas and the shopping be like?
Above: the first day of shows at Elle Fashion Week were held at an old historical movie theater. I hear they are knocking it down to replace with a shopping center though :( . Below: BIFF exhibition at a huge convention center outside of town. Love the visuals.
Above: Reunited and it feels so good. Part of our global crew, and the most uniquely dressed. Except for JP, I already have met all of these people on previous trips to collections and ALWAYS have a great time….From left: Jason Campbell (LA), Yu Masui (London), Moi (Tokyo), Sonja (Shanghai), and Jean-Pierre (Paris). It was REALLY hot out!! I was wearing a Gyda hat, a Mia Melon cutout dress (LOVE it) from MAGIC in Vegas, Mame shoulder bag, Tokone “Kamakiri” tights, and Dazzlin’ platform shoes. Wig is by Plumb (of COURSE!).
Above: They served Krispy Kreme donuts, icecream bars, Belvedere Vodka, sausages, and champagne. So much for the fashion diet! Below: The brand Playground had heir show in the theater, and the models walked up through the seating area. A very cool concept!
Above: Real Red Bull! Below: Dinner at the Jim Thompson restaurant which is held in a sprawling traditional Thai home in the middle of Bangkok. This Jim guy is a legend in Thailand, being one of the most successful foreigners in the country who really had a thing for Thai culture. He was super rich and an adventurer and disappeared mysteriously one day while hiking in the Thai mountains… one of his homes was turned into a museum and fancy restaurant. There isn’t a movie about him yet??
Above: Working it for my shopping day! Wearing a Lucy Paris dress I got in Las Vegas, Tomo Koizumi top, Mame shoulderbag, Kenzo pouch, Vive Vagina tights and Jouetie shoes. Wig is by Plumb! Below: At the famed Siam Center (which I will mention again later) which had the BEST shopping! My favorite was the 3rd floor which was ALL local high-fashion Thai brands. I tried to go back but we just didn’t have enough time… the visual merchandising is very very cool in Bangkok, even the toilets were entertaining to be in.
Above: Inside the toilet stall. It beats crappy graffiti! (pun not intended lol)
Above: Brilliant icecream shoes at BIFF. Below: At the second day of Elle Fashion Week, with Yu Masui and an Elle Thailand editor.
Above: A cool runway presentation by Asaya. Below: Some super funky art installation on the first floor of Central World, Bangkok’s biggest mall. It is massive!!! I didn’t even try to traverse it this trip.