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THAILAND’S DESIGNERS TO WATCH / PART 2

Continue my one-day trip wandering around one of Bangkok’s most fashion-savvy districts, Ratchaprasong intersection; I quickly headed to Gaysorn, which situated at the corner is Bangkok’s most premium shopping destination. A 45-minute walk inside gives me a glimpse of how elite Bangkokians spend their lucrative income. From established Thai designers like Disaya, Kai to prestigious international brands, Gaysorn has everything to proudly claim itself a true luxury mecca for elite shoppers.

During my 1-hour wandering around the newly-revamped area Zen, the ubiquitously-crowded mall among teenagers, I was given a glimpse of how fashion was appreciated so much here. It is no doubt that the tender fashion industry of Thailand soon upbeats other industries to become a real “cash-cow” machine for the metropolitan Bangkok administration. New malls are scheduled to build and complete within the next few years, bringing the total number of retail areas in Bangkok to its million figures.

Unlikely its neighbor cities like Singapore or Kula Lumpur, Bangkok has more to offer, especially when it comes to men’s fashion. Greyhound’s founder, Bhanu Inkawat, one of Thailand‘s first designers who took his own label to the global scene and later successfully ventured into food and beverage business with trendy boutique-like ambiance restaurant, Greyhound café is a great example of leading menswear clothing line. Ever tried for a few times with my gangs, I would definitely say this boutique café is one of my all-time favorites.

A former Fine Arts student at Bangkok University, Angelys Balek might be a new eponymous brand name among Thai fashion savvy fans. Founded in 2009, the 3-year old brand has successfully debuted in local fashion community through an opening of flagship store in the heart of Bangkok’s commercial district, Siam Square in the following year.

Aspired by Barbie doll style, Angelys’ signature silhouette through her past two collections, namely Kissing the Frog Prince (2010) and The Last Swan (2011) are urban Bangkokian girls’ ultimate expression. And it is no strange that her latest 2012 collection once again accentuates the designer’s endless passion for classic femininity.

“My Darling Dolly” collection features “My Darling Dolly” collection features girly silhouette in the shade of pretty pastel blended with exquisite cuttings. Doll-inspired details like oversized bows, tulle sheath, and tie-die like prints are used to adorn subtlety throughout the collection but not too stuffy.

What inspires me the most was how playful mood presented throughout the collection but in a twist of delicate combination between fabrics and shape to make them perfect for a corporate office. This is a definitely must-visit boutique in town while you’re in Bangkok.

Website: www.angelysbalek.com
Where to buy: Zen @ Central World

Kwankao may have gained fashion maven’s interest only a few years back but a former TV-host and entertainer Kwankao Svetavimala is no stranger to Bangkok hi-socialite. Founded in 2011, the eponymous label, KWANKAO was destined to fulfill the designer’s dream together with other two fashion designers, Sorawut Pokung and Sinia Sriparivatin.

Debuted in 2011, KWANKAO collections stirred quite a buzz in Thailand fashion industry with her signature timeless elegance and quirky silhouette. From playsuits to delight shirt to mini skirt, KWANKAO designs are perfect example of a fashion brand that blurs the distinction between work and play.

For the eponymous label’s SS2012 collection, there is no better word than “Pretty” to describe. Stay true to the designer’s playful concept, “The Miracle of Natural Beauty” collection does not contain too much of dramatic flair but rather, it is balanced out with colorful pattern and exquisite fabric details.

As so to speak, KWANKAO designs are a perfect pick to complement your weekend-party look. And just a word of caution, you do not necessarily need too much of accessories to make yourself noticed cause the dresses are already pretty (I mean flirty!).

Website: http://www.kwankao.com/
Where to buy: Siam Paragon, The Emporium

Located in second floor next to the local fast-fashion retailer, Jaspal, 4x4Man is the perfect embodiment of urban men. It is a perfect blend of tailor-made quality fabrics and contemporary cuttings. From dapper suits to cool t-shirt adorned by graphic-inspired decoration, 4x4Man has everything that an urban gentleman could ever ask for.

This is yet another reason why I love Thai designers when it comes to menswear. It is certainly neither as classy as Italian bespoke suites nor mid-90s American men’s corporate outfits. However, its dapper shapes are well blended with modern cuttings that offer well-fitted look.

Managed by Central Retail Management group, a part of Central Group, Thailand’s trading powerhouse, 4x4Man has its advantage of securing prime locations in the country. Fashion-savvy fans could easily find 4x4Man in leading department stores in Bangkok.

Website: www.facebook.com/4X4MANpage
Where to buy:
Thailand: Central World, Siam Paragon, Central Chidlom & Central Rama 9

Being the first Thai designer to join the fashion savvy W Hotel’s Global Fashion Next initiative, Ek Thongprasert is indeed a familiar eponymous brand to international fashion community. His works has recently been featured in leading publications like Vogue, Esquire. And it is no doubt that Ek Thongprasert has made a name for himself in Thailand and beyond.

Back in the year 2000, the brand was founded from collaboration between fashion designer Ek Thongprasert and jewelry designer Noon Passama S. Both share a strong passion for textile and detail-elaborated designs. I was indeed mesmerized to see how the duo designers interpret their ideas through self-developed material and sophisticated production technique.

Claimed for its strong approach toward the conceptual aspects, Ek Thongprasert’s creatures emphasize on a complex combination of intuitive thoughts, deep analysis and design elements. These firm approaches ensure uniquely-crafted designs that are truly individual.  Each of silhouettes sends a message of color, texture, detail to fabricate a complete story.

Ek Thongprasert’s designs are made for those who show their appreciation of not only through timeless elegance, individual philosophy but also through the conceptual aspect to express his/her identity. Ek Thongpresert’s stocklists are currently available in many cities across Europe, Asia and USA.

Website: http://www.ekthongprasert.be
Where to buy:
Europe: Antwerp, Brussels, Paris, London.
Asia: Bangkok, Osaka, Kuwait
USA: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago
 

Photos Courtesy of 4X4MAN, Kwankao, Curated by Ek Thongprasert, Angelys Balek.

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