5 Thai Fashion Designers Dress Their Muse For Valentine's Day
A Conduit For Couture: Tube Gallery
Gracing Thailand’s fashion scene since 1999, designers Saxit Pisalasupongs and Phisit Jongnarangsin’s Tube Gallery is known for its extravagant designs with the emphasis heavily on the dramatic. “Coming from a performing arts background, I think a lot of our work has a theatrical aspect to it, something that captivates,” Saxit laughs. That said their collections also include easy-to-wear practical outfits and while most will be familiar with the brand’s more is more concept and avant-garde shapes, for this Valentine’s Day the two designers have chosen a more laid-back look for their muse, Pattree Bhakdibutr, founder of the Erb skincare and home spa products line.
“We picked this outfit with Pattree’s character in mind and realistically, if she were to go on a Valentine’s Date with her husband Apichai, something too over the top simply wouldn’t do,” says Saxit. “With that in mind we chose a dress from our latest collaboration with internationally renowned contemporary Belgian painter Christian Develter, which featured his art as graphics and patterns for our designs.” Simple yet elegant, the dress boasts a sexy red lipstick print as a sassy statement. “Pattree is the perfect muse for our brand because in many ways she symbolises what we stand for,” says Phisit. “She’s a strong and hard-working woman with a unique charm—a true representation of Asian beauty.” Throughout its existence, Tube Gallery has enjoyed a fashion following drawn from around the globe. Looking ahead, the two designers will be hoping to grow that following with head-turning pieces showcased by Pattree.
Functional Fascinations: Vickteerut
Established in 2010 by Pang Aurapraphan and Teerut Wongwatansin, Vickteerut’s minimalist yet edgy feminine style has become a favourite of many fashion aficionados. Distinguished geometric tailoring and futuristic aesthetics make it a distinct brand in the local couture scene. For Pang, sexiness comes in many forms. Long flowing glamorous gowns are often associated with romance but Vickteerut challenges that with its bold blend of the masculine and feminine. “We aim to represent the funky cool side of women’s fashion,” says Pang, the brand director. “Emphasising solid colours and structure, we try to empower women with our creations and give them confidence that isn’t confined to the stereotypical girly glamorous side of beauty. Black and white is just as romantic and sexy as any of the other colours,” she adds.
Looking effortlessly chic and cool, Pang and muse Orawan Setabandhu, who is more commonly known as Yui, are sporting outfits from Vickteerut’s latest spring summer 2021 collection boasting pleating, over-sized cuts and of course, minimal elegance. “This is just as good a Valentine’s Day outfit as any,” says Yui, who owns items from every Vickeerrut collection. “It’s stylish, chic and functional—you can wear it during the day or out on a date in the evening.” Known for an unconditional commitment to tailoring, Pang describes the brand as realistic in its interpretation of the feminine. “For some that might be soft and sweet but women are on the move. Sure they want form, but they also want function.”
All That Sass: Landmee
Founded 20 years ago, Thai fashion house Landmee has become synonymous with playful vintage charm. The distinct dresses worn by founder Natedao Wattanasimakorn and the brand’s stylish muse—Chulalux Piyasombatkul, owner of Moo Eyewear—are part of a collection released this month to celebrate Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. “I think the combination of patterns and the heart buttons in the design represent femininity and romanticism,” Natedao says. “We also use a lot of lace, which is a fabric often associated with romance.” Never failing to showcase eclectic vintage interpretations of beauty, these are nevertheless bold outfits sought out by women of character and self-assurance.
“We want women who wear our designs to feel prettier but also empowered,” says Natedao. “Inner strength reinforced by a soft shell.” Which is why muse Moo became associated with the brand. “As a woman she cares about her appearance. She is confident, has a strong sense of style and isn’t frightened to experiment. Every time she wears Landmee, I believe she brings out the best in it,” the designer says. “We share the same love for fashion and taste in clothes,” says Moo. “I discovered the brand only a few years ago but I love how Landmee has the ability to create clothing that is both sweet but also incredibly sassy at the same time.”
Glamour & Verse: Poem
More commonly known as Sean, Chavanon Caisiri founded Poem in 2006. Inspired by his love for the unique glamour of the 1940s, 50s and 60s, the brand boasts Sean’s signature re-imagined corset, which complements the body’s natural shape. His background in architecture has enabled him to blend Thai dressmaking culture with contemporary structural elements. A reflection of the brand’s sought-after elegance, glamour and timelessness is this multi-coloured gown worn by the designer’s friend and muse June Sawitri Rochanapruk. “The dress was actually the finale piece in my 2019 fashion show but in a different colour,” says Sean. Entitled Eternity, it boasts colours of the rainbow encouraging the idea of looking at the world through a positive lens. “It’s about sharing positivity in the world and empowering each other with good energy,” he says.
So why would this make the perfect Valentine’s Day frock? The designer has an up-to-the-minute take. “Given the circumstance today, I doubt people will be celebrating much outside the comfort of their own homes,” he says. “But that also means one is free to indulge in more fantasy and fun when it comes to getting glammed up. Notions of love and romanticism come in many forms and this dress exudes a lot of fun and positivity, much like the beautiful lady wearing it.” He and muse June have been friends for over a decade, a friendship he compares to jigsaw pieces fitting perfectly together. “She’s been a big inspiration for the brand. When I sketch I find I end up drawing her without realising I’m doing it,” the designer admits. “Like Poem, June has class and a classic beauty and charm with shades of the contemporary.”
See also: Fashion Designer Thipvipa Kitakkaranon And Her Fabric of Dreams
- Photography Chaiwat Kangsamrith, John Tods