Naphalai’s Diary: February 25-March 3
On one day last week I went to more parties than the whole of the previous week combined. That’s how busy Bangkok’s social calendar can get sometimes. The day was Tuesday and I ended being able to do six events out of the nine. But this means I was running all over the city, from IconSiam to Emporium. And it also meant I was pretty knackered by the time I got home as my old bones aren’t as accommodating as they used to be.
Launch of Citi Prestige
That day started with a lunch at Lady L organised by Citibank to introduce a new design for its Citi Prestige card. Sandeep Batra, the bank’s director of credit cards and loans, headed the event, which welcomed familiar figures including Jay and Jareyadee Spencer, Vvon Sugunnasil and Vorravit Siripark.
Organika Riviere Opens At IconSiam
I had to leave before the end of the lunch to make it for my next stop, the opening of Organika Riviere at Siam Takashimaya, across the river at IconSiam. This is Sririta Jensen’s second flagship store, and instead of white, it has a green theme. It is also the only one that sells Japanese-inspired scents for its spa and aromatherapy products.
Another Opening At IconSiam: Patek Philippe
Next was the opening of the Patek Philippe flagship boutique, the largest one in Thailand, also at IconSiam. In partnership with PMT The Hour Glass, the boutique took five years of conceptualisation and design and boasts a five-metre-high ceiling. Inside the watch gallery area incorporates a patrimony exhibition space showcasing the brand’s 180-year milestones and a private lounge. Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern flew in for the opening and was joined by PMT The Hour Glass’s Narun Thamavaranukup.
Sephora Spring 2019
I then crossed the river back to this side and headed for the Emporium for Sephora’s presentation of the spring 2019 collection. This year there were also interactive masterclasses and skincare and hair care tips from leading companies. New brands that will debut for the first time in Thailand include Dr Dennis, Dr Roebuck’s, Briogeo, Abyssian, Coco and Eve and Infuse My. Colour.
The day ended at the Mandarin Oriental with two events there: the Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition and dinner to celebrate the Patek Philippe store opening. For the Bacardi event five finalists from Southeast Asia battled it out to become the two representatives to fly to Amsterdam to compete for the global championship. The two winners were Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn from Thailand and Eduardo Zamora from Singapore who will be flying to Amsterdam in May.
Patek Philippe Dinner
The Patek Philippe dinner was a grand affair held at the ballroom. Prior to the dinner guests were able to have their pictures taken against a period backdrop by the Nitikorn Kraivixien Studio. The highlight were a river-themed dance performance created especially for the event as well as show by the five-member Fivera pop-opera singers. Stern and Narun welcomed an exclusive crowd dressed in their best evening gowns and, of course, Patek Philippe wrist accessories.
Another busy day was Friday, which started with a lunch hosted by Nooror and Sandra Steppe of Blue Elephant for the NewsMakers group. We took the opportunity to discuss preparations for the charity Clutter Sale, which this year will be held on Saturday, March 30 at Anantara Siam. The event brings together over 70 booths selling good-quality pre-loved items to raise funds for Chulalongkorn Hospital’s Genetic Cancer Research Centre. It’s a good opportunity to get rid of your clutter and/or get great bargains for branded items and all for a good cause.
Congrats, O&B And Rarin!
The Emporium was the next venue, where our Generation T 2018 honouree Rarin Thongma opened an outlet for her O&B (Otherandbook) shoes. She started selling them online and through collaborations with design icons such as Anna Dello Russo and Aimee Song, has become a huge success. The event unveiled the Ploychava x O&B collection.
Bally Unveils The Janelle Collection
This was followed by a stop at Central Chidlom to check out Bally’s Janelle collection with its iconic buckle that was first introduced in 1969. The current models incorporate the babouche form, where the shoes can be worn traditionally or with the heel flattened for a mule effect.
Then to Central World where Singapore-based UOB was launching its TMWR mobile-only bank targetting millennials. Thailand is the first country in ASEAN to have this banking app, which has customised digital financial features popular with younger users.
A Furla Pop-Up
Wrapping up my week, I dropped by the Furla pop-up store opening at Central World hosted by Sopana and Opras Lavichant of Pacific Group. Alessandro Bartoli, CEO of Furla for Asia Pacific, introduced the brand’s new Monogram design and the Mimi bag. Other collections unveiled were the Corona bucket bag, Brava camera bag and Fortezza tote bag, most in a riot of colours for the spring/summer season.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: February 18-24)