Thailand has become an increasingly important part of the Asian fashion world.
Local designers trained abroad and experienced in international environments have come home to Bangkok and established their own design brands.
There are also local designers who have kept the faith with local textiles, Thai materials and styles of dress making and embroidery.
There was a time when trying to support local designers left the female Thai dressed somewhat awkwardly in the style of yesteryear silks and fabrics but these days a number of Thai designers have brought Bangkok fashions completely up to date with a definitive Thai twist.
The alternatives are those internationally trained designers who have a global flair for design while adding a Siamese hint of exotic to their creations.
Soda Clothing was started by Khun Duangta Nandakwang in the 70’s where she set up shop in the nation’s newest shopping mall the Siam Centre just opposite Siam Square.
Soda Clothing now has a number of Bangkok stores including Soda for Guys and Baking Soda where the designer’s inimitable style can be visually appreciated in her unfussy but elegant surroundings.
The designer is known for a haute couture look with punk flourishes, but the recurring theme with her designs is the emphasis on pretty with eclectic use of materials and slogans inspired by the punk fashion and cut out letters of artwork from the period.
Soda Clothing is an internet averse brand and very little information is out there, and so a visit to her shops in all the major retail malls is necessary to understand the style and flavor given to Thai women for nearly four decades now.
Soda Clothing at Emporium is our favorite retail outlet as its right next to Greyhound clothing for men.
Greyhound also established itself as a brand in the Siam Centre of the 70’s.
Greyhound’s lead designer is Khun Bhanu Inkawat who promulgated a male clothing brand that has appealed to the gay Thai market for many decades now.
That doesn’t mean the clothing is effeminate but it is slim and pared down chic metropolitan living.
There are always new materials and whimsical print designs to be discovered in Greyhound, with particular attention paid to shoes and bags if you’re on the lookout for those must have accessories.
Greyhound is starting to look abroad now so it has become a real Thai international brand that appeals to the most sophisticated of urban and international travelers.
The Greyhound Brand also includes a design agency and catering company along with a number of restaurants including Greyhound Café in a number of shopping malls dotted around Bangkok.
Time was when Jaspal was emerging as a real front runner in the Thai (Indian) designer stakes with bold use of patterns and elegant male clothing.
These days it has diminished in creativity and seems to have opted for a mass market strategy where people who don’t care too much about design pick up a T Shirt and think carrying a bag around a shopping mall is proof of style.