Tatler Then And Now: Prinda Puranananda, Vichien Chansevikul and Michael Palmer
Vichien Chansevikul and his partner Michael Palmer sit in a quiet corner of the British Club huddled over an old photograph. They talk of the recollections the picture evokes as they wait for the arrival of their good friend Prinda Puranananda, the other person captured alongside them in the image. “I think this was taken in 2000 during a trip to Pak Chong,” says Vichien. “We visited a lovely farm remember?” Micheal looks pensive. “You mean the first time I went to Khao Yai, right?” he says with a wistful note. “I remember how much cooler it was there. It was so nice to get out of Bangkok, to smell fresh air, enjoy all that greenery and have barbecues in the evening under stars you could actually see.”
Vichien and Michael work together running Leather Paragon 2000, a business manufacturing leather and décor items for hotels, private homes and more. They met as a result of Vichien winning a first-prize plane ticket to Amsterdam in a lucky draw. “The only big prize I have ever won,” he smiles. “I visited bits of Europe and was introduced to Michael at a mutual friend’s flat in London.” Michael adds, “I was working in Germany at the time and happened to be staying in London for the weekend. Call it fate... here we are 23 years later.”
“I’m here too darlings!” This from newly arrived Prinda, who bustles in and greets her old friends with big hugs before taking up the narrative. “How long have we known each other Vichien?” the 30-year veteran freelance interior designer asks. “Since the early 1990s,” he replies. “Our first dinner together was memorable. I arrived to find you had invited my ex. You had no idea that we’d even been together and separated!” Prinda giggles, but recovers to aim a gentle barb at Michael, who she met through Vichien over 20 years ago. “You kept calling me Brenda to begin with!” “And didn’t you castigate me for it!” he jibes back.
The triumvirate has had an easy-going friendship for years, often taking road trips when schedules allow. “Most are spontaneous,” Prinda explains, “Weekend getaways to the countryside in the main and yes, this original picture of us was taken at a friend’s organic farm. We ate sensational avocadoes right off the tree!”