Traditional Thai dress… what first comes to mind?
Investigating the matter, as well as become acquainted with two talented designers, I found out.
by Aleshka Nazarova
In 1950, when H.M. King Bhumibol assumed the throne, along with his wife H.M. Queen Sirikit, much of the traditional Thai dresses and costumes had been lost due to the influence of Western style dresses which had been introduced over the previous century or so. In part because of this tragedy that surrounded his ascension, King Bhumibol made it a priority to institute reforms and changes that would enhance and solidify a national Thai identity. As a part of this, Queen Sirikit set about establishing a national Thai costume.
By pulling from the few historical photographs that existed, writings and some remaining royal fabrics and garments, she worked with a number of French designers to come up with eight different looks for women and essentially one look for men that would become recognized as traditional Thai clothing.
Thai Phra Ratcha Niyom Costume collection included Thai Ruean Ton ( ชุดไทยเรือนต้น ), Thai Chitlada ( ชุดไทยจิตรลดา ), Thai Amarin ( ชุดไทยอมรินทร์ ), Thai Boromphiman ( ชุดไทยบรมพิมาน ), Thai Chakkri ( ชุดไทยจักรี ), Thai Chakkraphat ( ชุดไทยจักรพรรดิ์ ), Thai Dusit ( ชุดไทยดุสิต ), Thai Siwalai ( ชุดไทยศิวาลัย ).
I spoke with Jirayu Kladthim (Group) and Jirayu Chunhamookda (Aon) designers of Jirayu Couture from Bangkok. They presented their dresses for Krabi Magazine and I had some questions for them.
Aleshka: Where did you study?
Khun Group and Aon: We have bachelor’s degrees in Fashion designing from Rajamangala University of Technology, Thanyaburi.
Aleshka: Why did you choose this kind of profession? Who gave you the inspiration for this kind of job?
Khun Group and Aon: During our four-years of studies, we met and developed a feel for all different kinds of fashion. After graduation, we spent a few years in a boutique shop in Thailand, gaining further experience and feel for the industry.
We realized couture was our preferred style and we decided to start a wedding shop to make use of our experience and ideas to make the dream dress come true for every bride.
Aleshka: What you mean when you speak about traditional Thai dress? Which style are you referring to?
Khun Group and Aon: The traditional Thai dress is a mirror of our culture. Every detail reflects who we are. Traditional dresses should show refinement, elegance and personality.
Aleshka: Let’s talk about traditional Thai dress, can you explain a little bit about this style?
Khun Group and Aon: The dresses name comes from The Emperor Thailand. We got the inspiration from Queen Sirikit Kitiyakara when we saw her wear a traditional Thai dress with fantastic decorations and a refined delicate look.
Aleshka: What is The dress style is The Emperor Thailand?
Khun Group and Aon: The Emperor of Thailand dresses uses brocade, Thai pleat sarong and a Thai traditional belt. A shawl is worn from the shoulder across the chest to the waist and is decorated with braids, gems and crystals. Thai women wear these dresses during wedding ceremonies or night parties. These dresses will often be accompanied by accessories such as necklaces, sangwans, earrings, bracelets and/or a tiara.
Aleshka: Do you work with famous magazines, artists or singers? If yes, with who?
Khun Group and Aon: We have worked with We, Bride, and I Do magazines as well as Thai stars like Sririta Jensen, Natapohn Tameeruks, Mint Chalida Vijitvongthong, Janie Tienphosuwan, Kimberley Anne Woltemas Tiamsiri and Nonthawan “Maeya” Thongleng as well as Miss Thailand World 2014.
Aleshka: What are you plans for future designs? Any dreams to realize?
Khun Group and Aon: We are planning to make more traditional Thai dresses and focus on making them easier and more comfortable to wear. We also plan to introduce more styles of other traditional garments. As far as our dream is concerned it is simple, to continue making dresses for Thais and foreigners alike.
I think what to choose for your wedding ceremony, a traditional Thai wedding dress is something like magic. I wish you the best and hope you are able to fulfill your dream designers of Jirayu Couture.
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