• Emporio Armani Connected
  • Bao Bao Issey Miyake
  • Chanel
  • Burberry

For now, only black matters

Art December 29, 2016 01:00

By THE NATION

As world fashion trends evolve, Thailand's interest will be muted



PINK HAS been designated the “official” clothing colour of 2017 internationally, but many Thais plan to continue wearing black through October out of respect for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol. 

While the mourning period will determine style choices at home, the style forecasts for 2017 are a jumble of ideas overseas.

SOMBRE TIMES

Black mourning attire will be the clothing of choice for many Thais until the final funeral rites for His Majesty the late King next October. State officials are required to wear black, but for other citizens it’s entirely a matter of choice. 

Some colour can be expected to return to the streets after the initial 100 days of mourning ends late next month, but black, occasionally offset with white, will dominate clothing choices for much of the year – as it has since the beloved monarch’s death on October 13.

 The effect on the garment industry has been negligible, since the tone has long been considered stylish anyway. Local and imported clothing brands maintain collections in black as a matter of course and designers thrive on its flexibility for use in outfits ranging from classic and elegant to punk-style edgy. 

Thais need only keep in mind that black can also be sexy – not an attribute that will be tolerated in these benighted times. 

GRAB IT NOW

The “See now, buy now” concept took firm root at fashion shows in 2016 and is sure to hit full bloom this year. Eager buyers are seizing the chance to own an outfit straight off the catwalk rather than waiting months for it to show up in stores. 

What the concept also means in Bangkok is that Burberry’s customers at Siam Paragon can buy selections from its spring-summer 2017 collection at virtually the same time as their London counterparts. That’s because Burberry headquarters shipped the clothes and makeup out to all of its stores in September ahead of their debut on the runway. So as soon as it’s unveiled in public, the collection is available in the shops and online. 

Popular British chain Topshop followed suit, making 60 per cent of its “Unique” collection available for immediate purchase, while New York design houses Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford and Thakoon all soon leapt onto the “see now, buy now” bandwagon. 

IN THE PINK

The rest of the world will be turning pink this coming year, a lively hue that was all over the catwalks from New York to Paris when the summer 

 collections blossomed. 

Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Valentino and Nina Ricci – and Burberry with its new Orlando line inspired by a Virginia Woolf story – gloried in its iridescence, and there was a marked use of pale ivory-pink in lingerie. Celine, often copied in high-street stores, embraced pink in a pair of oversized toga dresses.

Mark Jacobs sent his models down the runway in “Rastafarian” wigs that were multicoloured but mainly pink, and pink seven-inch platform-heeled boots and sandals. A pink suede coat turned heads as well.

Bao Bao Issey Miyake has a new tote bag series called “Carton” featuring the shade of the season, accented with a zip closure and a side gusset for documents. It’s also available in light grey and neo-trendy khaki.

SAY IT WITH STRIPES

If stripes on clothes bring prison life to mind, British designer Gareth Pugh frees the motif in a collection inspired by the power of the sun – stripes of shimmering solar rays in silver and white and black and white – adorning tunics, trousers and coats.

Italian fashion house Versace has developed a new vertical stripe print for its Versus label, while British luxury brand Mulberry draws on school-uniform stripes in burgundy, mustard and olive green.

 Another Briton, Jasper Conran, has gone vertical in green, gold, brown, blue and red, while knitwear label Pringle of Scotland adds yellow and red stripes to the hems of blue tunics and trousers.

HIS AND HERS

London label Teatum Jones has notably mixed men’s and women’s clothes in one, triggering a trend that’s since been followed by DAKS, Burberry, Julien Macdonald, Joseph and Versace’s Versus. 

Macdonald, known for his red-carpet dresses, has a sexy collection in 

 which men can sparkle almost as much as the women, with shimmering animal prints and studded tops. 

Men and women can also share many of Burberry’s outfits. “I always say the trench coat is completely gender-less, and we tried to look at that, how things could be interchangeable,” creative director Christopher Bailey explains.

The evolution of men’s fashion and shifting perspectives on gender have blurred the lines when it comes to who can wear what. On the New York catwalks last September, several shows were decidedly “gender fluid” with clothes that could be worn by either sex. 

Joining the streetwise New York brand Hood by Air, which pioneered the trend, were Dutch studio Maison the Faux and Baja East, a New York-based company known for relaxed luxury apparel.

NEW ON THE WRIST

Club 21, which distributes Giorgio Armani wares in Thailand, has already previewed the spring-summer 2017 Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani and Junior collections, including stunning watches and accessories, with the boss in Milan declaring he is pursuing “elegance and sensuality, but also of magic and femininity”. 

That holds true for the Emporio Armani Connected, a hybrid smartwatch that lends wearable technology the brand’s dynamic styling. 

The watch is compatible with both Apple and Android phones via wireless syncing. It’s always accurate and automatically converts time zones and dates as you travel. It also monitors sleep and waking activities, can be set with filtered notifications, and controls music from your phone with the simple press of a button. 

With a coin-cell battery, the watch never needs charging. A black IP case and three-link bracelet complement the black textured dial with silver-tone indices. The sub-dial displays the date and tracks your progress towards set goals throughout the day.

Hermes, meanwhile, has teamed up with Apple Watch for an Apple Watch Herm่s line with different bands in handcrafted leather and various Apple-designed watch faces.