Siam centre celebrates Re-Launch in style

One of Bangkok's first shopping centres re-opens, looking to 'Amaze and Inspire'

It was hyped as the biggest event of the year, hitting dedicated shoppers and fashionistas before they had fully recovered from their New Year hangovers.

This was the relaunch of Siam Centre, one of Bangkok's earliest shopping centres. Its new incarnation came under the concept: "The Ideaopolis: Siam Centre".

The opening event covered two days, the first for business partners, owners of well-known international and local brands, VIPs, celebrities and industry leaders, and the second for the public. The entire venue, which had previously been wrapped from top to toe, was unveiled to reveal its new look, set to "Amaze and Inspire" _ two words that appeared throughout the event _ and so it did.

Set to be a "centre of unlimited imagination and creative pieces in art, fashion, technology and lifestyle", the launch picked up on these elements quite precisely.

The entrance was carefully cordoned off with a special red carpet entrance for superstars, and fans waiting to catch a glimpse of Adrian Brody and Kim Bum, one of Korea's F4 idols, on the first day, or Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick from TV teen drama Gossip Girl, and Taio Cruz, the British recording artist, singer and songwriter with international chart-topping hits such as Dynamite.

Thailand's own superstars did not shine any less brightly, led by Araya A Hargate, Nadech Kugimiya, Urassaya Sperbund, Pakorn Chatborirak, Ken Phupoom, Davika Hoorne, Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul, Laknara Piatha, Morakot Kittisara and Apitsada Kruakongka, to name but a few.

According to Chadatip Chutrakul, CEO of Siam Piwat, the opening ceremony cost more than 200 million baht to ensure it arrived with a bang. In addition to the mesmerising new look with high open ceiling and a transparent glass top, the state-of-the-art technology and trendy activities, the event was packed with entertainment including a concert by R&B singer Keri Hilson and American rapper Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas.

Music filled the night, provided by DJ Soulflower and DJ Onra, as well as Thai DJs such as Tul Waitunkiat and DJ Seed Norasate Mudkong. In addition, Piyanat Chotisathien, better known as Pump Apartment Khunpa, played guitar with saxophonist Pisut Prateeppasen, or On T-bone.

The lighting proved to be another highlight of the opening, with the "Illumination of Light" light and laser show created by Japan's Jiro Endo, a veteran lighting designer who worked with KOB of Team Kor Bor Wor.

The first floor, the main floor of the event, was dedicated as the Idea Avenue for top-tier artists and those of the new generation from Thailand and elsewhere to exhibit without limiting their ideas, imaginations and talents. With the theme "Timeline Extendist", the story of Siam Centre was told using state-of-the-art technology. In the Digital Mirror room, visitors enjoyed globe-trotting in just five minutes.

A special two-level Pop Culture Art Exhibition had been created, with selected art works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein from private collections on the upper level, and interactive pieces on the lower level for guests to enjoy and play with.

Another highlight of the Idea Avenue was the Fashion Exhibition to showcase fashion collections by world-class fashion brands Yohji Yamamoto, Comme des Garcons and Issey Miyake. The collections are all of their "Archive" level, which means they are as close to the brand signature as possible and are kept as precious treasures by private collectors. The items were displayed alongside works by Thailand's leading designers such as Theatre, Playhound by Greyhound and Wonder Anatomie in a demonstration of the power of fashion collaboration between international and local designers.

Forty celebrities also designed the "I Love Siam" mascot in celebration of Siam Centre's 40th anniversary. These included Thongchai "Bird" McIntyre, ML Piyapat Bhirombhakdi, Chulita Areepipatkul, Duangrit Bunnag, Menat Nantakwang of fashion brand Soda, Sorayuth Suthasanajinda, Tan Passakornnatee, Thanonchai Sonsiriwichai, Ek Thongprasert, blogger Amata Chittasenee and Dr Singh Intrachooto.

On the third floor, the Fashion Visionary housed the largest number of leading Thai designer brands in the country, with more than 80 models showing off the latest fashion collections.

Every 15 minutes, models took to the corridors as improvised runways mingling among guests on all three floors.

Celebrity bloggers Bryan Boy and Lauren Kolodny had also been invited to attend the opening, joining an army of international and local media.

About the author

Writer: Usnisa Sukhsvasti
Position: Features Editor