Plaire Chaiphet, Design process

Thailand has been in control of a military government for quite some time and the long overdue general election has been repeatedly delayed; whilst the recent death and funeral of the beloved 9th Thai king deeply affected all Thais it diverted attention from these issues and affected the whole country not just emotionally but also economically. The collection honours the hard work the king had done to stop poverty and homeless but also highlights the issues which concern its people and uses the rich culture and heritage through the medium of a dystopian science fiction film.

The collection is a combination of the future and the past, looking back to late 1800s when the reign of the 5th King was signified by the modernisation of Thai infrastructure and by governmental and social reforms, which also led onto the modernisation of women’s fashion. Inspiration has come from the luxurious garments worn by the queens and princesses of this period to create the elaborate silhouette.

The total contemporary evening wear 6 looks are accompanied by heavily embroidered statement accessories; crown, harness, belt, necklace and military sash. Inspired by the aesthetic of cyborg characters in science fiction film, Swarovski crystal beads are integrated into hand embroidered statement accessories, together with unwanted electrical components found in an electronic workshop such as cartridge fuses, crimp connectors and integrated circuit sockets. An LED light strip is also then integrated onto the finished piece to add a futuristic technology aesthetic and catwalk impact. The design of accessories aims to represent the opposite sides of Thailand, recycled electronic components representing poverty and homelessness and on the other hand, Swarovski crystals represent the long period of the extravagant luxury of the royal family. The combination of the luxurious aesthetic of Swarovski crystal and old unwanted material convey the political message that Thai people have always overlooked.