Queen Mother credited for triumph of Thai silk
Fashion designer Ek Thongpraset ably demonstrated the enduring vision of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Queen Mother, in preserving and promoting traditional Thai silk in a spectacular show of gorgeous apparel at Bangkok’s Iconsiam last week.
The three catwalk shows Ek presented were part of the “Thai Treasures” exhibition mounted in a birthday tribute to the Queen Mother by the Culture Ministry, Thai Rice Foundation under royal patronage and rice brand Tra Chat.
Professional models wore eight traditional costumes, eight outfits representing the four regions and 16 contemporary ensembles, all featuring high-quality silk and exquisite patterns full of sumptuous lines and geometric shapes.
Accentuating the glitz and glamour were jewellery accessories from Beauty Gems Ltd.
Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, who officially opened the exhibition continuing through Monday (August 12), stayed for the fashion shows.
Others in attendance included Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome, Kitsayapong Siri, Pasinee Limatibul and Sumeth Laomoraphorn, Kleddao Panichsamai, MR Chantraladda Yukol, Prakarn Raiva, Natakorn-Natprapa Choonhavan, Pattamawadee Senanarong, Praewpreya Jumsai na Ayudhya, Jarospan Svasti Na Ayudhya and Pimdao Panichsamai.
On display in the exhibition is the costume dubbed “Sivalai Thai”, made in Lamphun by Japanese architect Kenko Kuma over the course of five months and at a cost topping Bt500,000.
Kuma is famous for his ability to incorporate natural components into cultural treasures, and he used natural materials compatible with the Thai way of life in a stage design for “Sivalai Thai” featuring rice terraces.
“Thai silk and handicraft are well known overseas,” Itthiphol noted. “Through her overseas trips, the Queen Mother was instrumental in promoting their recognition. She managed to make the process of silk production sustainable from start to finish and to generate more income for the craftspeople.
“In recognition of her contribution, the ministry invites people to wear Thai silk clothing.”
Tra Chat has numerous types of rice on view and on sale in cooperation with the Department of Rice, including Jasmine Rice 105, Kor Kaw 43, Brown, Na Prung, Pathum Thani, Kam Payao (black sticky rice), Puen Kama and Sangyod.
Five silk-producing communities – Baan Krua Nua Bangkok, Khuntham Wat Somsri Baan Siew Noi Chaiyaphum, Thor Pha Mai Baan Kon Kha Khon Kaen, Huaysai Suksawad Lamphun and Baan Tha Krajai Surat Thani – are presenting demonstrations.
An exhibition on the life and times of the Queen Mother occupies the mall’s Ratchada Hall.
Other activities include a demonstration of how Thai silk was traditionally stored, a talk by Benja Paki Fabric, a demonstration of Zin Bua embroidery techniques, and celebrity chefs cooking with Tra Chat rice.