By The Nation
FASHION DESIGNER extraordinaire, Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana has long been known for her flights of fancy and this year was no exception, with the talented Princess taking fashionistas on a journey to a new planet called “Naravanna” for her spring and summer 2019 collections for Sirivannavari and S’Homme.
With a setting that included intense orchestral sounds and such special effects as laser lights and movable circular steel beams, the spectacular show really did seem as though it was being staged in the far reaches of the universe.
The Princess describes Naravanna as an undiscovered planet where the highest stage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has been achieved yet the rich diversity of nature maintained, adding that while every living thing looks different and unfamiliar as a result of alien metamorphosis and mutations, the fauna and flora live happily in unison.
The collection, named “Abode of Metamorphosis”, is a visual dream of ultra-feminine silhouettes, exquisite embroidery and the Maison’s signature graphic prints and was tastefully brought to life at last week’s fashion show at Royal Paragon Hall, Siam Paragon.
“Naravanna’s creatures, especially the mutants, stirred me in designing this latest collection, featuring graphics inspired by the AI’s mainboard, African-influenced craftsmanship and space-age details. The silhouettes and structures for this season are quite varied and complicated, from deconstructed looks to asymmetrical gowns. I added some details and techniques to create new dimensions such as a quilted pattern, pleating techniques from Gerard Lognon’s workshop in Paris and Maasai Mara-inspired embroidery produced in our own atelier,” said the Princess.
Featuring 67 looks – 59 in the womenswear category and eight for the men – the show opened with a bolero Lurex tweed jacket paired with a dress of the same fabric, a cut-out midriff dress with the fluid silk chiffon skirt in the signature print and a cocktail peplum dress with a metallic quilt detail echoing the space-age theme.
For an ultra-feminine look, the collection also features a zebra-sequinned tulle blouse with hand-stitched feather details and a white corset dress with double layering of fringes – burgundy silk and African beads.
The talents of the seamstresses at the in-house workshop of couture embroidery, Sirivannavari Atelier and Academy, were put firmly in the spotlight through magnificent embroidery on the feather applique blouse and a crystal-and-pearl encrusted gown with embroidered African beads details.
Graphic prints, the brand’s DNA, were as ever among the highlights. The Princess has created prints this season by visually translating her imagination, including those details signifying Naravanna, such as mutants, alien creatures, AI’s mainboard, and gearwheels. The prints are incorporated throughout the collection, from ready to wear to leather goods, shoes and scarves, with the 120 cm x 120 cm square and the mini-rectangles used for handbag handles.
The Bijoux Collection offers both fine jewellery and fashion jewellery, the former featuring the Maison’s emblem “S” and “Peacock” and comprising rings, earrings and necklaces in 18-karat rose gold adorned with mother of pearl, pearl, lapis lazuli and malachite. The key piece –a peacock choker in rose gold – drew appreciative murmurs from the audience. The fashion jewellery, meanwhile, is modern and fun in a silver and brass setting, coated with 14 karat gold and encrusted with Swarovski crystals, feathers, beads from Kazuri workshop in Kenya. Key pieces include a silver tiara adorned with crystal and a bangle featuring a tiger face.
To complete and complement the look, the collection also features Italian leather goods, including a python bucket bag with a variety of shaped charms, a zebra bucket bag adorned with feathers and charms, and a clutch featuring the signature print of the season with the peacock badge.
The feet were not forgotten, with a shoe collection in styles ranging from a casual sandal with African beads and feather embellishment, to classic two-toned sling back shoes made from python and calf and an elegant shoe with leopard print leather, gearwheel-shaped heels and crystal and fringe adornment.
The beachwear collection was positively empowering with slimming cut-out silhouettes and a robe offering a finishing touch of elegance. This year also saw the launch of an activewear line.
For S’Homme, the menswear collection celebrates the elegant gentleman from Naravana. The key looks include a hoodie trench coat in beige with badges on the sleeves, a yellow safari jacket with navy blue cropped pants and a two-button suit in sage green.
The signature looks for shirts this season has piping in African colour stripes worn with cropped trousers pants. The collection also features men’s leather goods including loafers in signature prints, sandals with African beaded embroidery, and clutches and duffel bags in the Princess’ signature prints. Fine jewellery and fashion accessories also made an appearance and included a white gold ring adorned with mother of pearl, lapis lazuli and malachite, leather necklaces with pendants, tie pins with the “S” logo and a tiger emblem. Guys too were invited to look cool on the beach with bathrobes and swimwear in the Princess’ signature prints.
And Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana also showcased another her talents by composing the score for the fashion show. “As a composer, artistic director and patron of the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (RBSO), I composed an original score for the RBSO to perform at the show. It consisted of 5.5 acts: first, ‘Vanishing Inhabitation’, second, ‘Fragmentary Time’, third, ‘Abode of Metamorphosis’, fourth, ‘AI/Memorandum’ and fifth, ‘Tribal Transcendence’.
“I started to write the song with a marimba, a type of African xylophone, then added the sounds of the rhythm section such as bass, guitar, drums and synthesiser, and combined them with the sounds of a classical section to perfect the score. I also created a new percussion instrument named ‘Reform’ inspired by gearwheels. To make this score go in the same direction as my fashion collection, I adding the sounds of space, drones and ambient noise. Moreover, I invited a noted female vocalist, Rudklao Amratisha, to feature in the song and recite the lyrics I wrote,” the Princess concluded.
- Sirivannavari Spring/Summer 2019 collection is available at the Sirivannavari Boutique on the 1st Floor, Siam Paragon Shopping Complex.