Diplomats steal Thai silk fashion show

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By Linda Khoo

BANGKOK: It was an unusual assignment for ambassadors and their spouses as they took to the catwalk to showcase Royal Thai Silk costumes at the Grand Fashion Extravaganza Show here on Saturday night.

International fashion designers from more than 60 countries and nine top Thai fashion designers tailored Royal Thai Silk costumes for ambassadors and their spouses, heads of diplomatic missions and their representatives at the fashion show held at the Royal Thai Navy Convention Hall here.

Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Jojie Samuel and his wife Datin Catherina Cherian Samuel were among the diplomatic corps who made a special appearance to enliven the Thai silk fashion show, which was officiated by Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan o-cha.

They strutted down the catwalk, modelling a classy and elegant Malaysian traditional costume designed by Ruzzgahara co-founder Nik Faiz Nik M Amin. The crowd whistled and applauded.

Also present at the fashion show was Malaysia’s renowned shoe designer Datuk Jimmy Choo, the adviser of the ‘Celebration of Silk’ project. 

Choo (seventh left, front) flanked by Jojie (sixth left, front) and wife Catherina (eighth right, front) after the fashion show. Photo: Bernama

This year, more than 3,000 metres of Thai silk fabric ― handwoven and curated from the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Technique of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of Thailand (Support Foundation) ― was delivered to designers to bring magic to the costumes.

The fashion show is part of the 9th Celebration of Silk: Thai Silk Road to the World 2019. Besides the grand fashion show, the 2nd International Thai Silk Fashion Week, which presented collections of Thai silk costumes in modern and traditional Thai silk and design by 42 international designers and 30 Thai designers, was held from Nov 18 to 22. 

The annual Celebration of Silk project is organised by the Tourists Assistance Foundation in collaboration with the Queen Sirikit Department of Sericulture to promote cross-cultural exchange between Thailand and participating countries through ‘silk diplomacy’.

This year’s event, the biggest ever world-class Thai Silk fashion show held in Thailand, is in honour of Queen Sirikit, the Queen Mother, for her significant contributions to the silk industry.

Known as the ‘Queen of Silk’, Queen Sirikit has been continuously promoting and revitalising the production of silk and creating opportunities for Thai silk entrepreneurs.

Nik Faiz said the Grand Fashion Extravaganza was a new format of fashion week which offered a great opportunity for designers to showcase their unique designs in a special way.

“The fashion show is great and amazing. It is totally different from what I have attended before. It is not a typical fashion show. It gathered international and Thai designers on one stage and it involved ambassadors and diplomats modelling their design.

“I think Thailand has done a good job in promoting Thai silk. Through this one event, it spreads all over the world through 70 countries,” he told Bernama here.

Last Monday, Nik Faiz also showcased his collection of 22 designs of a combination of Malaysian batik and Thai silk at the 2nd International Thai Silk Fashion Week held at Central World here.

“We created a new modern look of our collection. I experimented the character of Thai silk and our batik.

“We developed the character of the textile itself. As you see, batik shows smoothness, silky and shiny while Thai silks are stiff and structured. Our collection demonstrates the combination of both,” he said. – Bernama

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