Finding Oasis: Philip Huang's Cinematic Essay On The Life Of Indigo
Earlier this month, the likes of Orawan Ingkhisit, Amata Chittasenee, Saks Rouypirim and Piyatat Hemmatat gathered at Philip Huang and Chomwan Weeraworawit's novel appointment-only Bangkok showroom at Phloen Chit for the screening of Finding Oasis. A film by their fashion brand Philip Huang, Finding Oasis accompanies the Oasis S/S 2021 collection and is directed by Chomwan with cinematography by the celebrated Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, the eyes behind Call Me By Your Name and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.
Serving casual Northeastern Thai cuisine to the guests—think som tum, gai yaang and sticky rice—the event on July 8 was an all-round tribute to the indigo dyeing grandmas of Sakon Nahkorn whom the brand collaborated with for its latest collection. The centrepiece of the event, the 12-minute film, documents Philip Huang's journey in Isan since five years ago. In 2016, Philip and Chomwan founded their clothing brand that merges indigenous knowledge from generations of artisans in Isan with contemporary design. Introducing the indigo grandmas, the holders of this invaluable savoir-faire in Sakon Nakorn, the film explores the ladies' vision and stories. Immersed in the world of living indigo, the audience learns of the meticulous processes of dyeing and weaving organic textile.
The material explored through the visual essay is fabricated onto the OASIS Spring/Summer 2021 collection. Light and comfortable yet very protective against natural elements are Philip Huang's clothing. New natural colours include Dune, made from local Sakon Nakorn mud and Moonless, an almost-black hue made from indigo and ebony berries.
While the dye-ing process highlighted by the collection is attributed to the indigo grandmas of the North, the intricate embroidery and hand-stitching in the collection are done by women from disadvantaged families and urban refugees at the Fatima Self-Help Centre in Bangkok. A portion of the sales of the collection will be contributed to pH.Lab, a research and skills-development project which aims to keep the dying art of indigo dyeing and weaving alive in Isan.
Philip Huang's S/S 2021 collection is exhibiting at Pitti Uomo in The Sustainable Style section curated by Georgia Cantarini until October 19, 2020.
To learn more, visit philiphuang.com.