Thakoon Panichgul at The Room at the Bay. Story by Mishal Cazmi.
Thakoon Panichgul’s ascent in the fashion industry didn’t occur overnight. The designer, who obtained a degree in business before enrolling in Parsons School of Design, debuted his collection in 2004. His garments have graced the silhouettes of starlets like Marion Cotillard and Carey Mulligan, but his ultimate coup has been to dress First Lady Michelle Obama. One of the most feted designers of New York Fashion Week every season, Thakoon’s Midas touch is his thoughtful—and artful—approach in flattering the female form.
Recently, The Room at the Bay previewed Thakoon’s Spring 2011 collection at a trunk show with the designer in attendance. The trunk show also included pieces from his Fall 2010 and Resort 2011 collections.
Thakoon embarked on a flight of fancy with his Spring collection, keeping his signature romantic and feminine aesthetic while offering a lighter, airier fare. A sea of white, structured pieces balanced with billowy dresses, and unexpected details like exposed hook-and-eye closures and mesh. “Almost preppy but done in a feminine way,” said Thakoon.
The most pleasant surprise in the mostly-white collection was the injection of blue and apricot hues. Earlier, he compared the collection to the open sky. “I wanted to open the windows a bit and let the air in. There are a lot of chiffons that are breezy and flowy. I also wanted to let in the sunlight and the colours to feel like they’d been bleached by the sun.”
If an open sky is what Thakoon was trying to evoke, he did it with the palette of an Impressionist—soft, romantic, and lingering. And it just so happens that Thakoon is a fan of art. The designer modeled an earlier collection on a painting by Tim Hawkinson. “I love art and I like taking inspiration and ideas from art. Not in a way that is an obvious replication, but through the techniques and nuances in art.”
This was Thakoon’s first time visiting Toronto, but his sojourn won him heaps more admirers who are hoping he’ll make a swift return.
Below, Thakoon with Toronto designer Sunny Fong.
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