Thai flood fashion face-off: Chanel vs. Burberry rain boots

Thai flood fashion face-off: Chanel vs. Burberry rain boots

The prime minister is spotted wearing one brand, the wife of a top politician another: It all provides plenty of fodder for commentators

Burberry rain bootsBurberry's rain boots, a mainstay at celeb-ridden English events like the Glastonbury Festival, have suddenly shot to fame in Thailand. As Thailand battles the worst floods in decades, an issue of fashion has brought the nation’s divisions to the fore.

This time, it has nothing to do with politics -- OK, maybe a bit -- but with designer footwear. Rubber rain boots, that is.  

First up, we have Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thailand’s first female leader.

While out and about assessing the situation in the flood-hit provinces, she has been snapped wearing rubber boots by luxury brand Burberry, which set Thai social media networks abuzz on Monday. (For photos of the fashion-forward PM in her boots, visit her Facebook page.) 

Some criticize her for wearing such expensive rubber footwear while out helping people who have lost their entire livelihoods. (The boots retail for about US$225 in the United States.)  For instance, one political cartoon takes aim at Yingluck with a mock advertisement for Burberry.  

Others say she can wear whatever the heck she likes as long as she works her hardest to get the country out of this mess. 

Meanwhile, Vorakorn -- the wife of former finance minister and current deputy leader of the opposition Democrats, Korn Chatikavanij -- has been spotted rocking her own designer rain wear -– Chanel’s Camellia rain boots, which retail for at least US$600 on some fashion websites.

But because Vorakorn is the wife of a politician and not herself a prominent political player, she’s been viewed favorably for just getting out and helping with the relief process by visiting flood hit areas, regardless of how much her shoes cost. 

Thinking of picking up your own designer rain wear? Bangkok shopping malls Gaysorn, Siam Paragon and Emporium are where most luxury boutiques set up shop. 

Fashion issues aside, Bangkok’s leaders continue to express uncertainty about the city’s chances of being hit. In the latest report in the Bangkok Post, Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra warns the city’s northern areas could be hit by floods Wednesday.

For more on how you can help, scroll to the bottom of this CNNGo round-up of updated tourist information and check out the “Thai flood resources” section.