Leading Thai handbag brand Phya paid homage to His Majesty the Queen on her birthday with the launch of two limited-edition handbags.
The Mata and Nadda are made of mudmee silk from The Support Foundation combined with Italian calfskin.
The bags were showcased last Thursday at Phya pop-up store in Central Chidlom in front of a guest list that included Siriyos Devahastin Na Ayudhya, Thitinan Kiatpaibul, Sirirat Itthirojanakul, Visaradee Techathirawat, Dr Sirirat Gosgarigar, Natthaphong Jiratticharoen, Wasan Wong, Vorayuth Kittiudom, Thitipat Suppattranont, Pannusa Boonsri, Napassanan Pannipa and Dr Thitiporn Sanguanpiyaphan.
Celebrities Jaruwan Chottewan and her daughter, Yara-Thanyapat Pakdeemongkolroj joined Dr Jintanan Chayat Supamita and Phya creative director Jirayong Anuman-Rajadhon on the stage.
Jirayong said her inspiration for the handbags was Queen’s Sirikit constant support for Thai handicrafts.
“Her Majesty has been a great role model for all Thais in passing down our rich heritage. I would like to play a role in perpetuating Thai handicrafts and this led to the idea to design the Mata, which means mother, and Nadda which means granddaughter. They are made from Thai Mudmee silk and high-quality calfskin from Italy and are both smart and functional, making them perfect for daily use.”
The making of the Mata and Nadda bags requires meticulous crafting at every step, especially in tailoring the soft and extra thin Mudmee silk piece to the form of the calfskin bag.
Mata is based on the Natalie bag in terms of shape and boasts silk in violet-pink with a unique and modern pattern as well as a silver cross-body chain.
Nadda is a small-sized bag with a compact design, using the shape of the Phya Liv model as its base. The designers used Mudmee silk with a violet pattern to contrast with the blue leather, crafting an elegant box-shaped handbag.
Part of the income from sales will be donated to the Support Foundation.
Dr Jintanan Chayat Supamitra, whose mother Lady Peungjit Supamitra, is a senior attendant to the Queen, said: “My mother always told me that even though Queen Sirikit spent much time overseas as a child, she always appreciated Thainess. She has worn clothes made from Thai silk since before her marriage to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. For her first official visit, she designed her outfits based on photographs of Queen Saovabha Phongsri. The names of mansions in the palace were used to name each outfit designed by Queen Sirikit. Whenever Queen Sirikit escorted King Bhumibol upcountry, she noticed that local people in each province dressed in hand-woven silk to welcome her. The Queen therefore became determined to support and preserve Thai silk in each location, and later set up the Foundation of the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques - Support.
Matunart Sosothikul who attended Chitralada School, recalled how her mother always wore Thai silk. “She always purchased Thai fabric and souvenirs from Chitralada shop when she picked me up at school. And she wore Thai silk every Tuesday because her office (Thai Airways) encouraged its staff to wear Thai outfits. Both of us love wearing Thai traditional style clothing on special occasions and also when we go to make merit at the temple,” she said.
Young mother Jaruwan who came to the fashion show with daughter Yara, said that she was doing her best to instill a sense of Thai tradition in her child. “Thai arts such as Thai silk should be preserved for the nation,” she said.