All images courtesy of Giancarlo Galavotti at IG @gc.galavotti.
In a graceful bridging of cultures, and a deep exploration into the concept of ‘Thainess’, Iconsiam has returned with yet another fashion phenomenon to awe Bangkok city and beyond. Collaborating with the Ministry of Commerce, Max Image Company Limited, The Iconsiam Residence Corporation Limited, and The Iconsiam Superlux Residence Corporation Limited, the ‘L’Elegante Thai’ exhibition recalls the magical and alluring world of Thai textiles, through special collections curated by two globally-renowned brands — Italian fashion house Antonio Marras, and London-based Thai label Sorapol. Francesca Versace — an independent fashion and accessories designer, and niece of the late Gianni Versace — was also involved as a consultant for the project.
An expression of the refined beauty of Thai textiles, as well as the long standing Thai and Italian Craftsmanship Collaboration, the exhibition took place at Iconsiam until earlier this month, and came with pop-up stores of both international brands for the first time ever in Thailand, with Sorapol’s designs available until the end of September. From the key highlights of both special collections, to how each designer approached artistic savoir-faire of Thai heritage and fabrics, here’s everything we know about L’Elegante.
“I have many expectations from Thai fabrics: the cloths are fascinating, telling tales about faraway and mysterious lands — yet real and exciting. Tales and myths are part of those materials which embrace the body with elegance, in a contemporary way. It is necessary to interpret the materials, understand them, respect them and love them in order to shape their sentiality for those who acknowledge that wearing a gown is not the same as wearing another.” — Antonio Marras
Applying Italian artistic styles to bring out the uniqueness of Thai fabrics, Marras’s special collection is full of imagination, mystery, and exciting stories. Handwoven Thai textiles are brought to life through Italian multicolour techniques and creative expression. The highlight of the collection was by far the glamorous evening gown, where differing worlds unite as one in a discerning blend of cultures, expressed through a sophisticated palette of grey, dark brown, and deep burgundy red.
“I was born in a family of a foundation in art. My father graduated from the College of Fine Arts, whereas my mother is talented and is fond of clothing design. After school, I often visited my mother’s fabrics store and she frequently asked me which fabrics she should use for making her new dress, and this is probably the beginning of how I wanted to become a fashion designer.” — Sorapol Chawaphatnakul
Inspired by the diamond-pattern motif — an element that has been present in Thai textiles for over centuries — Sorapol Chawaphatnakul used these timeless patterns and prints to represent Thainess. Various elements of the traditional diamond pattern are reborn through modern techniques, expressing a beautiful unification of past and present. The highlight? A piece that sees handwoven fabric, created using a special laser cutting technique, complemented by Italian fabric — also a joining of two worlds.
Looks from the Sorapol Fashion Show
While the exhibition has now ended, pieces from the Sorapol brand are still available in the brand’s pop-up store, which marks the brands’ first step in Thailand. Shop the pieces at Iconluxe, Iconsiam until September 30, 2019. To find out more, call 0 2495 7080, or visit iconsiam.com.