Skeletons, space, sickness and sports

HRH Princess Sirivannavari takes inspiration from multitudinous sources in her fashion brand’s latest collection

If a sudden illness had run rampant at Royal Paragon Hall last Thursday, it would have been the death of Thailand’s entire fashion industry, as bigwigs and socialite royalty returned to witness the latest Sirivannavari collection presented by Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, the brand’s creative director. Involved with every step of the process — from sketching to cutting fabrics, draping and fitting — the Princess has injected much of her own identity into the season’s clothes.

It’s not a coincidence that a grim thought was used to begin this report, as the theme and inspirations for the Sirivannavari Spring/Summer 2014 collection are related to rather ominous things as well.

“The spring/summer 2014 collection is a reflection of my recent personal experiences, most notably of my sickness, be it from my horse-riding accident or other illnesses,” said the Princess. “These experiences are combined with inspirations from my favourite art. As many of you know, art has always been a part of my inspiration and this time I have incorporated elements from works by Leonardo da Vinci, Damien Hirst and Frida Kahlo into the collection through the ‘X-Ray Collage’ print, which is also the collection’s highlight.”

Vertebrae and galactic prints dominate many pieces, while others exhibit weaving techniques to create a more sophisticated approach. Illness and art sounds like an unlikely pair, almost as much so as sports and haute couture. However, with our Princess that dabbles in both sports and fashion, it’s not surprising that a marriage of the two has taken place, with sports couture very much the core of this collection.

The clothes allow the wearer freedom of movement, yet are loaded with meticulous detail and concealed cutting that echo the artisanal side of haute couture. Though “couture” and “comfortable” are not two words you usually see in the same sentence, the Sirivannavari Spring/Summer 2014 collection constructively allows ladies to be active in avant garde fashion, where convenience need not be sacrificed for chicness.

The shapes and palette are futuristic, with staples such as jackets, trouser suits, peplum pieces and evening dresses that can easily be worn to various occasions. On the flamboyant side are metallic bell bottoms, dresses with ostrich plumes and literal bone structures on tops and gowns. Less flashy pieces include high-waisted pencil skirts and tuxedo jackets. To wear total looks from this season would be a bit much, but when styled with items that are already in your closet, it should be a good, striking way to create your own image of osteology and cosmic-inspired charm. The accessories follow suit with holographic leather, with handbags, belts and shoes crafted in shapes of the human skeleton. Key items include pochettes, luxe backpacks and skeleton gladiator boots.

A white backdrop and a no-frills runway kept things simple, but the music, smoke and lighting, was enough to make one feel like they were in a spaceship. After the stellar show, HRH Princess Sirivannavari energetically skipped out from backstage with a big smile to thank the audience and wave to her supporters.

“I am very delighted to get back to work on this fashion collection. I had a great time every day that I worked because this is what I truly love. I am very serious with this collection and I have devoted myself to it,” she said.

The Sirivannavari Spring/Summer 2014 collection is available at Sirivannavari boutique, 1st floor, Siam Paragon, Rama I Road.

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