Look past the bargain Bangkok fashion markets and mass-produced knock-offs. Thailand breeds creativity.
Take Thakoon Panichgul, the most well-known Thai-born fashion designer.
Then there’s Koi Suwannagate, who received a Vogue Fashion Fund Award in the United States and has dressed the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Back in Thailand, Nagara Sambandaraksa is our very own Valentino. His popular brand, characterized as East meets West, has been appearing on the backs of Thai high society — including royalty — for years.
So who are the next Bangkok fashion celebrities? And who are the workhorses upholding the proud tradition of Bangkok fashion at home www.wylaonline.com? Here are five Thai brands worth getting undressed for.
The Story: Read the name backward. Sretsis is a family affair. Pim Sukhahutas’s creative skills, Kly’s marketing prowess, and Matina’s presentation have put this local brand on the pages of Teen Vogue, NYLON, and Page Six, and on celebs such as Katy Perry.
The Style: Chiffon, flowing lace, bows, ribbons, florals — the concept is sweet vintage. Sretsis is bringing back styles of the 1940s and ’50s, and adding whimsical collars, pleats, and fabrics to create a dolly wardrobe for nostalgic Bangkokians.
The Style: With training at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture under his fabulous belt, Tipa’s clothes and accessories are hand-sewn and hand-stitched by himself and a skillful team. His hallmarks are sequins, knits, buttons, weaves, vibrant colors, bold fabrics, and runway shows as whimsical as his designs.
The Story: Founded by Bhanu Inkawat in the 1980s, Greyhound is a Bangkok fashion pioneer. Over the years the house has welcomed young designers and spun off brands Playhound and Hound & Friends, which cater to younger consumers. Greyhound has also launched one of the most stylish restaurant chains in town.
The Style: Greyhound Original focuses on sophisticated business attire, with lots of blacks, whites, and grays. More casual Playhound and Hound & Friends remain popular with style-conscious youth and Thai celebrities.
27 Friday and 27 November
The Story: A graduate of Bangkok’s artistic Silpakorn University, Chanachai Jareeyathana released his first brand, Time’s End, two decades ago. Though the brand is still popular, his more recent creations, 27 Friday and 27 November, are far more sought after in Thailand’s fashion scene.
The Style: Want macho? Chanachai’s dark-hued pants and jackets from 27 Friday make men look sharp, but not flamboyant. Girly girls love his approach to cutting and accessorizing with lace that somehow still looks casual. For popping colors and bold prints, 27 November offers a younger, more colorful collection.
The Story: Headquarters is a long-established fashion platform for three designers — Jirat Supisankul, Patsarun Sriluansoi, and Chai Jeam-Amornrat — to present their individual brands and identities as one.
The Style: Three brands, three styles. A favorite among fashionable men, Headquarter’s easy-to-wear designs have also earned the Bangkok fashion house a strong female fan base. Looks range from casual — with pants, blouses, and day dresses — to formal, preppy dresses and ‘rich boy’ shirts, leather rocker pieces, and ethnic tribal dresses.