Friday, April 30, 2010

Covering Bangkok's Street Style

I've always enthused over the street-style scene in Bangkok. I've expressed long ago how inspiring it is for me to just sit in a bench in Siam Square on weekend and watch fashionable kids milling around the hip boutiques of the area.
More than what people are wearing, being a fan of street-style blogs all over the world, street wear is a good indicator of the prevailing mindset of the current generation. Of course, these people are not representative of the entire population of that country (haler, not everyone can be that stylish, non?).

Still, street-style says a lot about some people's attitudes, their references, their moods, their statements, and their culture in general, especially youth culture.

Unfortunately, until now I still don't know if there's a blog dedicated to capture street-style in BKK. My recourse has been to read Cheeze magazine, which comes out monthly. Fuchsiaboy ITSELF is a Cheeze fan. In fact, I brought to Siem Reap my collection of past issues (about eight months' worth).
I've taken a few sample photos of those old editions (major copyright infringement here!). They are obviously some of my favorite images. Cheeze, however, can give its readers a mix of style approaches, from the trendy to the individualistic. Here, I chose the relatively "quirky" ones, not only of what the persons are wearing, but their overall attitude in the image as well.
As a spectator of the style/fashion scene in BKK, my take is there's an evident consciousness about fashion among BKK denizens in general. Most Bangkokians like to look good. I sometimes think it's a preoccupation. When I first arrived here, I was so blown away by how seemingly impeccable everyone was. I realized they do pay attention to grooming and styling here, with mixed results of course.

Among the young people, there's a huge Japanese and Korean influence in their style, starting with the hair, and then their clothes, and all the way to how their pose in their photos (Asian pose, anyone?). Needless to say, J-Pop and K-Pop are major movers of BKK style, even if they have to wear jackets or cardigans at the height of summer for instance. Jing jing! (Well, there's always the baduy people wherever in the world you go naman.)
Among the really stylish ones, however, I have nothing but admiration for them.They really know how to pull it off. I love how they make their look very them, meaning it's personal and evokes their style ideology.

I love how they mix and match expensive accessories with Chatuchak finds, and actually whipping up amazing looks. There's always a relaxed mood to them, courtesy of some shirts for instance that they must've bought from the night market in the street, with a touch of luxury, say a Balenciaga bag. Zara, Topshop, and Izzue are also staples.

For those who cannot afford a Balenciaga or the international brans, there's always the second-hand shops (akin to ukay-ukay) in Chatuchak or Wang Lang. Or perhaps the non-expensive work of their designer friends who have shops in Siam Square or Suan Lum Night Bazaar.

In fact, many people here wear local designers such as Issue, One Hidden Agenda, Mama Says Zed, It's Happened to be a Closet, Painkiller, Greyhound, etc.
Whether they put on low-end or high-end items, the folks in BKK consistenlty excel in styling. In fact, the key to their looks is styling, more than the clothes themselves. They play with volume and proportions lavishly. And of course accessories are indispensable. A hat here, a scarf there, a funky hairstyle, an iPhone, or sunglasses bought from Khao San Road.

I do see many people who are purely following trends, but there are also a good number of kids who have a innate sense of fashion and style, thus, keeping the street-style scene here constantly fascinating and inspiring.
I guess the common denominator in BKK street-style is the kids' confidence, on top of a general relaxed mood with a reasonable amount of flair and bravado.There's hardly any restriction in what you can wear here anyway (for example, you can wear super short skirts without being called a pokpok *looks straight at Filipinos*).

So there's really a lot of room for experimentation when you're in BKK. A daring approach to clothing is appreciated, thank you very much.

In the current heat of the summer, the trend I'm seeing a lot skin. Cut-off jeans, with fringes galore, are de rigueur among the girls. Heavy eyeliner, which I've seen for quite some time now, is still the rage. Huge bags are also ubiquitous. Among the boys, skinny jeans refuse to go away, although I'm seeing a fair share of military wear too. Despite the heat, Dr Martens boots are still becoming more and more visible (starting last year actually). Still, there's room enough for diversity and reinterpretation of the trends.

As the seasons change, I'm expecting a bit more layering in the coming months, say, cardigans, light scarves, and some leggings and boots.

Anyway, I'm definitely keeping my eyes peeled for more street-style action in Bangkok. 


fuchsiaboy said...

despite the influences you've mentioned, i find it fascinating how it turns out quite original and different and quite 'thai' the looks i've seen in the streets of bangkok. it's always a constant inspiration for me to absorb the street fashion i see whenever i'm there.

yes, i'm a big Cheeze fan.

Asia in Australia said...

love love love and miss miss miss....that says it all...

thanks for that entry G.

Slurpyjoe said...

love bangkok fashion.
love your blog too.

Was Once said...

When you get a photo of you in the ripped jeans(a la razor war discards) in photo #8, let me know!

Was Once said...

I think their sunglasses, are just not flip(hip) enough, nor fit their faces. That is a job for a style master.

toxic disco boy said...

i haven't really been formally (chos) introduced to BKK street style. thanks! that was really informative. binasa ko lahat. hahaha. do you know any site or blogs about thai street style or fashion in general? looks inspiring. and don has been talking about it one time. thanks!

Yj said...

ahahahaha ng hot nung unang na zoom in ang fez.... yaiy

kawadjan said...

Donita: Kaya come to BKK na!

AiA: Awww...

Slurpy: Thanks, dahling.

Was Once: Hahahaha. Will email you a pic for sure!

Toxic: Wala talagang street style blog ang BKK. That's a niche for us, no?

Yj: Mismo!


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