Thursday, February 19, 2009

winter fashion in farangland - winter fashion in bangkok

Right now, it is -10C outside. That's quite different to the 35C in Bangkok these days...I am struggling just like my two Thai (girl) friends who arrived yesterday. I must be half-Thai these days because even though I love the cold, my body does not like it.

When I arrived here, I didnt have many warm clothes, obviously. So I had to go shopping with mum. It was quite fun. My family has a bit of a fashion tradition (grandma was a taylor, mum had a knitting shop) so you see where I got my fashion genes from.


Shopping for clothes in the nearest "city" (pop. 20,000) was strange. You come into the shop, people want to know what you want, and "just looking around" as an answer doesnt seem common. If you try something on and dont buy it, you will be asked why you are not going to buy this piece. And you also need to fold the piece that you did not buy and put it back where you found it. Odd.

As for the fashion itself, it was a huge shock for me that it was basically the same as in Bangkok - which raises a lot of questions.




I saw the following: scarves in the same thin fabric and design as previously bought at JJ Market in Bangkok - for 100US$!!! Shirts with the same oval shaped designs on the chest (they have been in fashion for a while in Bangkok). Stripey, stripey sweaters - same as I bought at Keven in Bangkok, a few weeks ago. A bag with the same "scottish-inspired" carré design and colours, much alike my bag, acquired from Siam Square. And of course also the lumberjack-style shirts, which have been so fashionable lately in Bangkok. Same same same...

Is there an explanation for this? Well, I think - and this is all just a thought - that the JJ and Siam Square designers have a look or two at the big European designers, and also at H&M (Swedish fashion chain). For example, WHY did I see exactly the same design of crossed lines below the collar on a sweater that I bought at a well-known designer's shop at JJ Market and at H&M today? I dont think that's either coincidence, or H&M visiting JJ Market...

my friends, enlighten me please...

6 comments:

Faraway Friend said...

Aren't nearly all the world's clothes being made in Asia these days? So the manufacturers just sell some of their already designed stock to local stores.

Where are you in Europe? Germany, France, Finland? Do they have second hand stores there, in case you don't want to spend $100s on scarves you will only need a short time?

All you and the girls really need is a good coat, good boots, hat, gloves and long pants. If your coat is warm enough you can wear a t-shirt under it all winter.

mosilian said...

Maybe fashion designs tend to start in the West, but I think they are adopted faster in Bangkok. I always notice new styles in Bangkok before I notice them in the States..

BB said...

Thank you for your contributions!
faraway friend, I have found a cheap shop with nice clothes, although only teenagers were shopping there. adult people here only know one colour: black. It's a bit boring.
And the scarves, I already bought them in Bangkok:)
Now we are managing...but it's cold!
Mosilian, I think you are dead-on. The designs start in the west with the big brands and as eager Thai (and others) designers watch their newest designs, they quickly copy it. They would have new designs and the product (since it's locally produced) out in a matter of days. All speculation, but I think not that far-fetched.

Bill said...

many of these clothes are made in thai factories. copying them is too easy. take a look at my super secret find in Bangkok when you return called "Export Shop" and you'll find things at dirt cheap prices. These things arrive at Export shop from local factories and some even have labels that say "made in france" and "made in UK" but I can assure you they are made right there in Thailand. :)

BB said...

oh interesting..."export shop". Is this a shop the tuk tuks would bring you to? or is that something else altogether? where can I find these export shops?

Bill said...

BB -- Export Shop is 100% legit. Rarely found by expats, mostly Thai and larger Chinese men and ladies who appreciate the western size selections.

Send me a private message when you can. I also have some folks in BKK that I think you might enjoy hanging out with.