Thailand's most looked-forward-to fashion event Elle Fashion Week has once again successfully captured the allure of Thai brands. In its 15th year, the iconic fashion event saw the White Tent in front of CentralWorld packed and overflowing with fashionably dressed crowds. From HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana and A-list celebrities to fashion enthusiasts, the guests and their choice of attire made the scene outside the tent as interesting to observe as the fashion show itself. Here's the rundown of what the four-day fashion event saw.
DAY 1: OPENING DAY
Playhound by Greyhound launched Elle Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013 with a tongue-in-cheek bang. Never one to disappoint when it comes to putting on a fun, rambunctious fashion show, Playhound once again succeeded in spreading liveliness across the white tent.
Inspired by the '90s, "Playhound TV" pays homage to MTV, Dogma, infomercials, Beavis & Butthead, Britpop and all things that made the era hard to forget.
With a giant round screen TV as backdrop, Playhound's runway show smartly infused video presentations and light-hearted skits with playful stage gimmicks that included a model lip-synching to Elastica's Connection.
Remaining youthful and easily wearable, "Playhound TV" champions the lenticular TV effect as a main motive, which can be seen in graphic prints, pleated forms to accessories. The '90s silhouettes got a bit of a facelift, resulting in loose fitting yet structured forms.
Witty and charming, "Playhound TV" stays relevant, and it's least likely that we'll change channel soon.
Lauded as the kings of bridal gowns, the designing duo Vatit Itthi make some of the most refined, detail oriented, fairytale-come-true dresses for ladies on their special day.
Vatit Itthi set the tone with a warm, clean lighting and bare white backdrop, and chose to open the show with white trousers and tube top. The bright colours used bless the entire collection with a bit of drama and excitement. While it's plain to see how masterful and crafted Vatit Itthi is with fragile fabric like silk, net and chiffon and cutting techniques, the collection's daywear can sometimes take a matronly turn with dated embroidery and appliques.
All doubts, however, were completely wiped away when strings of evening gowns were sent down the runway. Employing only local models (yes, we're claiming Cyndy Bishop as one of ours), these ultra black tie, ballroom dresses with flattering cuts were breathtakingly romantic that it would almost hurt to inspect them closely. Using the most delicate silk in bold colours and floral appliques in all the right places, the long gowns accentuated the duo's meticulous skills and their penchant for serene designs and controlled extravaganza.
DAY 2: MENSWEAR DAY
It's undeniable that Platt Srilalittsoi has a Midas touch. A true whizz in both menswear and womenswear, Platt, under CMG, has pushed forwards 4x4 Man to the pinnacle of urban, workwear empire in just two years. There's already a strong buzz of anticipation about the resurrection of his much loved Realistic Situation, which is set to make a comeback in the very near future.
Panels of chromatic, moving neon lights were accompanied by fragmented industrial electronic beats, and 4x4 Man men walked to the beat at brisk speed, creating a sense of emergency and apocalyptic doom.
But ''Parallel'' was anything but gloomy. Crisp, styled to the tee, the collection tampers with a houndstooth motif that sneaks in and out consistently, never skipping a beat. Print on print created further dimension while tailored jackets and above-the-ankle fitted pants complete the modern man look.
Toying with patterns, prints and numbers, 4x4 Man further achieves the vintage sportswear feel through choices of intriguing colours like maroon, magenta and dark green.
4x4 Man has once again created a new trove of treasures for stylish, dapper men who dare to make a bold statement like Platt never fails to do.
Painkiller is back on the runway with its Painkiller Archetype, its bespoken, custom-made line containing mostly showpieces. Some of these might later go into production, but not all possibly due to complicated production process and overhead costs.
''Au destin'' packs in only 15 looks. It was baffling before the show started to learn of such small amounts of clothes. But Painkiller Archetype said everything that needed to be said. ''Au destin'' is pure poetry in fabrics and in motion with the highest level of crystallised thoughts and craftsmanship.
Tracing the life of Napoleon Bonaparte from his military student days, straying period to death in 15 shirts, ''Au destin'' dissects the emperor's tumultuous relationships, translating every bit into simply wearable art pieces.
Intricate drawings and splashes of France's flag colours of white, red and blue sprayed across the collection are dramatic and moving at the same time. The collection's profound interpretations of a historical figure coupled with extreme artistry and borderline obsession with perfection allow Painkiller to prove that fashion isn't limited to certain group of people. When done with a lot of heart and soul, it is moving, inspiring and fulfilling.
Theatre's menswear line has gone street hip hop even. The usual theatrical air is still very much intact, but the collection seems to want to speak to younger, urban types roaming the cosmopolitan cities of the world.
Instead of the usual accompanying soundtrack, Theatre brought a formidable beat boxer to provide dope beats throughout the entire show, completing an attempt to emulate an inner city feel with a graffiti backdrop and all.
Loose fitting with spectacular details, Theatre held no bars with this ready to wear collection. With help from well-known street artist P7, Theatre marries street art and cultivated cuttings and learned accessorising, creating a fearsome total look.
Animal prints, camouflage and patches throw youthfulness into the mix, and each separate piece competes for attention as none of them can be muted. Even street girls who want to add extra swag to their wardrobe will be able to enjoy Theatre's newest creations as they also hold a unisex feel.
Fashion Fresh Faces (Thea by Thara, Tutti, and Patinya)
The day started with the work of new talents that Elle Thailand had handpicked from the pool of Thailand's emerging new designers. The show started with the collection by Thea by Thara, whose theme was natural disasters, to encourage people to look on the bright side of the tsunami and floods. Blue lighting set the futuristic atmosphere, as the models strutted out in sexy strappy pieces in light-reflecting fabrics. The blue light, however, did not do justice to these beautiful pieces, as the colours seemed a little strange.
Next was Tutti, which solicited a lot of awws from the audience as four angelic young girls walked the runway, clutching and wheeling out their dolls. The doll-inspired collection is called Plastic, Elastic, Fantastic. After the little girls in white lace dress came confident, sexy models in black lace and red princess-y dresses that looked both youthful and sophisticated, like a Barbie doll's wardrobe brought to life.
Closing this show was Patinya, with the ''Stronger Inner Me'' collection. The feminine but strong style is conveyed through simple cutting with sexy details, especially in the back. The pieces exude confidence and sexiness in an effortless manner.
The second show of the day was by Tipayaphongpoosanaphong, or Tipa for short. Inspired by Ban Chiang pottery's curves and geometric prints, this collection focuses on the curvy silhouette of the pottery. The excellent embroidery enhanced the curves of the body, making the models look like delicate, exquisite vases. The use of simple colours like black, gold, maroon and cream and the clean cut made the perfect canvas for the glistening embroidery which sparkled like thousands of diamonds.
Breaking from the glamorous ambience, Something Boudoir's ''The Wildlife Club'' opened with a safari bus as the backdrop. The Something Boudoir girls go camping this season, but they still sport the girlish, sweet identity that makes the camping gear incredibly adorable. The show was fun, alive and vibrant, sweetened by the use of pastel colours and polka dots.
Hook's by Prapakas
This was hands down the most interesting show, which was received with the most thunderous applause. Combining punk with couture, neon with metallic, the pieces were literally out of this world. The futuristic mood, the robotic character of the models and the beaming light made the show feel like a sci-fi movie. It was also interesting to see male models in what look like a flamboyant skirt, without looking feminine. Neon pink was also used on male models, and managed to look powerful and masculine. There were times when the audience did not even know whether the model was male or female, but every piece was mind-blowing all the same.
The show was highly anticipated and packed to its peak, possibly following the surge in popularity of the brand after Ratha ''Yayaying'' Phongam was spotted at the Cannes Film Festival in a Vatanika dress. Inspired by birds of paradise, this collection is elegant and exotic with feather, gigantic prints and the use of lace. Powerful, sexy and mysterious, the pieces looked captivating both on the runway and on the celebrities who wore them on the night of the show. Jet black pieces are paired with brightly coloured feathers and bold prints to make a statement. The feathery headpieces also added a mysterious sexiness to the look.
Debuting as a Young Designer in Elle Fashion Week last year, Kemissara came back with a full show of its own. The collection aims to mix the freshness of Kemissara with a bit of sexiness, creating a silhouette that is confident and elegant.
The light fabric flowed beautifully with every movement, creating a captivating dynamic. The more sophisticated navy and black pieces in the first half of the show were strong and powerful, while the red, sheer pieces in the following half were utterly sexy and daring. The nudity from the see-through fabric was, in some outfits, admittedly a bit over the top.
As the brand reaches its 10th anniversary, it tries to combine its signature elements and thus created ''The Oddyssee College'' _ a collection that involves uniforms that are chic and unique. Wires were bent and shaped to outline a classroom, with a vintage locker as a decor piece. The preppy pieces looked young and confident, representing a rainbow of school cliques such as the queen bee type, the nerdy type and the artsy type.
The anti-gravity presentation (hats floating and neckties flying) lent an edgy feel to the show. Wires were used to support the hat to create an illusion that the hat was up in the air, and the neckties were bent and twisted, floating in an edgy way. The big frizzy hair made the look electrifying and artsy.
Curated by Ek Thongprasert
''Dream a Dream'' collection was presented with a sound system that aimed to create the echo sound, mimicking a person's hallucination, while the lighting reflected complexity of the mind. The items were simple and soft in black and white, with prints and stencils adding the elegant elements.
The makeup was also interesting, from ghastly pale faces with black smudges to silver masks, which conveyed the complexity behind the collection perfectly. The overall atmosphere was eerie and calm, which well suited the black and white collection. HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana was among the audience, and it was the only show that she attended.
The crowds went wild for this closing show, with every inch inside the tent occupied. And they were not disappointed, as Milin brought back its signature sexiness and femininity in its 10th collection. Inspired by the art auction scene, the Renaissance feel mixed beautifully with Milin's signature pairing of pastels in an ultra feminine style.
Most of the pieces stayed true to Milin's core _ two pastel tones mixing beautifully in sexy, ultra-short dresses and skirts, with revealing cuts showing off even more skin. The prints in this collection are also chic. The Renaissance prints mixed with contemporary art _ with embellishment adorning the prints to add a funky modern touch.