From the buzz of fashionistas chatting excitedly as they find their seats pre-show, to the moment the lights go down, music goes up and the first model hits the runway, fashion shows can be exhilarating – even electrifying – events, and the shows we saw at the 2011 Bangkok International Fashion Week were no exception.

We were there to do interviews and shoot portraits for a piece for Bangkok Airways in-flight magazine Fah Thai, profiling seven Thai fashion designers, including Polpat Asavaprapha of Asava, Chamnan Pakdeesuk of FLYNOW, Jitsing Somboon for Project 1.1 by Greyhound, Sirichai Daharanond of Theatre, Tipayaphong Poosanaphong of Tipayaphongpoosanaphong, and Saksit Pisalasupongs of Tube Gallery, and Je Jung of WRKROOM (although WRKROOM didn’t appear in BIFW this year).

While I did most of the interviews backstage (see this post) and Terence shot the portraits of the designers in their boutiques at Siam Paragon and Siam Centre, our editor asked us to attend the shows to get some additional shots for the story. How could we refuse when Siam Paragon’s lovely PR people handed us press passes and tickets for front row (well, in a couple of cases, second row) seats?

And I’m glad we went. It was a blast! I can understand how fashionistas get addicted to the shows. Even if you’re not into fashion, it’s easy to appreciate the creative work that goes into staging a show – the production, the set design, the music, and in some cases, such as Asava’s show, the choreography. Oh, and of course, the clothes! I could easily get hooked on these events.

I’m not sure which show I loved most. Inspired by the bold photography of Italian Paulo Grassi, Polpat Asavaprapha’s latest ASV by Asava collection of bright minimalist fluoro pieces was launched on a spare stage to a cool synth soundtrack by models with robot-like moves – it was 80s pop meets ‘the future’ as imagined in the 60s. And yet it was very now.

Sirichai Daharanond of Theatre, on the other hand, presented a whimsical, playful and extremely eclectic collection of clothes that I am going to call ‘haute hippy’ that he presented in a garden-party-inspired setting that began with a gorgeous ladyboy handing out macarons to guests.

Chamnan Pakdeesuk’s artful and original collection for FLYNOW was inspired by one of his favourite film’s The Hunger, starring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve. In our interview he told me he felt the costumes for that film should have incorporated bits and pieces of every period the vampires had lived through, from the Victorian era to the 60s. They didn’t, so that’s what he tried to do with this collection, showing it in a black, magical, underworld of a space.

My only disappointment? That I didn’t have time to attend every show. Unfortunately we had other stories to work on, and, um, that other little project we came to Bangkok to do… a first edition guidebook to the city. So what on earth did we think we were doing watching fashion shows?!

Bangkok International Fashion Week
Siam Paragon

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