Naphalai's Diary: August 26-September 1
Elle Fashion Week held its first shows in Bangkok a little over 20 years ago and during that time has helped to launch many aspiring home-grown designers. It has become an important fixture on the local fashion calendar and tickets to the shows are much in demand. Just goes to show how busy my schedule is that last week I was not able to make it to even one.
But I did go to a few fashion events, one of which was quite different. This was the RECO Young Designer Competition organised by Indorama Ventures, the world’s top PET producer as well as the leading PET recycler in Asia, Europe and North America. Through this fashion upcycling competition RECO aims to show and raise awareness that PET and polyester waste can be turned into spectacular designs. Held since 2011, 30 shortlisters participated in a workshop by design professionals, after which 10 finalists were selected to showcase their creations. The event was at The Greenhouse of Nai Lert Park hosted by Aradhana Lohia-Sharma. Waste never looked so good! Yet another way to reduce plastic waste if more of our fashion designers would decide to recycle.
Emporium-EmQuartier also held EmFashionicon, a presentation of styles and trends for fall 2019 by fashion guru Apiwat Yospraphan. Three celebrities were given a makeover: Ploy Bhinsaeng, Akarat Vanarat and Kongphob Eursirisub. The attraction, however, wasn’t so much what was going on on the stage, but the guests themselves, many of whom were dressed to kill. Not a place for the faint-hearted!
The Magical Realism Of H&M
Then there was the press preview of H&M Studio’s A/W collection, Magical Realism. This limited edition range from H&M’s most fashion-forward offering features sharp tailoring, silk dresses and heritage knitwear designed to empower the modern woman. It is available at H&M Siam Paragon and Central World from September 5.
Siam Center, meanwhile, introduced one of Korea’s hottest cosmetics brands, Jung Saem Mool. The founder was there herself to provide tips on achieving the “glass skin” look. The large crowd that turned up showed that skincare and make-up products from the land of kimchi have no shortage of followers in Thailand.
Another skincare brand, Lancome, chose last week to launch its new Advanced Genefique serum that uses the latest technology called microbiome. The skin, it seems, is a living ecosystem consisting of 50 per cent human cells and 50 per cent microorganisms; with a balanced microbiome, the skin will be younger-looking. Held at Parc Paragon, the launch event unfortunately was drenched by the rain as it was meant to have been both an outdoor and indoor affair.
Alexander Lamont Hosted A Salon
Keeping the home fashionable is Alexander Lamont, whose home décor items blend design and craftsmanship. Known for his products created using lacquer, eggshell, straw marquetry, shagreen and parchment, he wants to introduce these crafts to a wider audience and on Sunday, September 1 hosted a Sunday Salon at the showroom at Gaysorn Village. Guests were able to try their hand at straw marquetry, eggshell lacquer and calligraphy in the Art Deco style.
The First Grand Seiko Flagship In Southeast Asia
Moving a bit away from fashion, Grand Seiko opened its first boutique not only in Thailand but also Southeast Asia, at Gaysorn Village. Joining managing director of Seiko Thailand Katsumi Kubota and general manager Kenichi Kito were Toru Tsuchiya, senior vice president from Japan, and well-known designer Shinichiro Kubo. An exhibition presented products from a range of collections as well as three exclusive models.
Wearable Air Purifiers
Trying to look fashionable while shielding yourself from air pollution is now possible with ible Airvida. The wearable ion air purifier products clean the air around you and they come in the form of a stylish necklace or clip. Importer Advancexing Life directors Lina Leenutaphong and Peerapat Tenwong hosted a tea to unveil the three models available in Thailand together with a mini fashion show. Throw away those ugly face masks come the next high air pollution stretch early next year.
Gender Equality Summit
I also stopped by the press conference for Dragonfly’s Wo=Men Summit to be held on November 2 at Centara Grand. The brainchild of Pranapda Phornprapha, it provides a platform that will have talks, performances, workshops and other experiences “to connect and empower the community towards gender equality”. She has gathered an impressive group of influencers, activists and celebrities who will be sharing their ideas and stories.
And before I move on to food and beverage, there was also a party for the launch of Burgess British superyachts. Vrit Yongsakul, managing director of Boat Lagoon Yachting and partner of Burgess in Thailand, held a reception at St Regis to introduce Jean-Marc Poullet, senior partner and chairman Asia of Burgess, and his yachts.
Lunch At Wardolf
No week goes by without an event to do with food and drinks. Last week was no different and in fact I had some very impressive meals. The first was lunch hosted by Waldorf Astoria director of operations Gearoid Lyons at Bull and Bear to celebrate the hotel’s first anniversary. Chef Dave Pynt from Singapore’s Burnt End restaurant prepared some of his signature dishes including the best steak I have had for a long time (it was Blackmore wagyu beef)—and I’m not even a steak lover!
Dinner At Mahanakhon Skybar
The other was dinner at Mahanakhon Skybar, a bar on the 76th floor of King Power Mahanakhon that also serves good food prepared by chef Joshua Cameron. My dinner companion was Marc Begassat, managing director of Mahanakhon, who also gave me a tour of its skybar and skywalk with spectacular views of the city.
Starbucks X Nestle
Starbucks fans will be happy to know that Nestle’s Dolce Gusto capsules now deliver the premium coffee. Victor Seah, chairman and CEO of Nestle Indochina unveiled Starbucks Coffee at Home together with superstar Kimberly Ann Tiamsiri at Central World.
Diageo Goes Isaan
And finally, Diageo Moet Hennessy revealed the new trend of pairing northeastern Thai food with three of its beverages: The Singleton Dufftown single malt, Copper Dog whiskey and Gordon’s Pink premium gin. Held at the new Burapa Eastern Thai Cuisine and Bar, Diageo managing director Alberto Ibeas also talked about the new drinking trends. Diageo senior brand ambassador Prawit Boonnithipaisit presented the pairings together with the restaurant owner Wongwich Sripinyo.
Previously: Naphalai's Diary: August 12-25