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5 top Bangkok fashion brands
Thakoon and Koi are great, but these local Thai fashion designers could also be destined for international stardom
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. His popularity skyrocketed when Michelle Obama wore one of his creations in 2008.
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? Here are five Thai brands worth getting undressed for.
The Story: Read the name backwards. 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.
2/F, Gaysorn, Phloenchit Road, BTS: Chidlom, tel +66 (0)2 656 1125
2. Tipayaphong Poosanaphong
The Story: The Tipayahphong brand found its way to Bangkok Fashion Week just three years ago. But Tipa, who started as a lowly button sorter in a Paris fashion house then worked alongside Emanuel Ungaro before creating his own designs, has more firsthand experience with the haute couture industry than most Thai fashion designers put together.
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.
3/F, Siam Center, Rama 1 Road, BTS: Siam, tel +66 (0)2 658 1147
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.
Greyhound Original Boutique: 2/F, The Emporium, Sukhumvit 24, BTS: Phrom Phong, tel +66 (0)2 664 8664
Playhound Boutique: 3/F, Siam Center, Rama 1 Road, BTS: Siam, tel +66 (0)2 252 3861
4. 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.
3F, Siam Center, Rama 1 Road, BTS: Siam, tel +66 (0)2 658 1703
The Story: Headquarter 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 ethic tribal dresses.
3/F, Siam Center, Rama 1 Road, BTS: Siam, tel +66 (0)2 658 1048