It isn’t every day that the words “Laos” and “couture” are mentioned in the same breath, but with the look and feel of Tube Gallery’s latest line, “Passage through the Lost Town,” maybe we should start hearing it more often.
Luang Prabang, the model “slow life” city, steeped in centuries of lore and beauty that have now brought about a tidal wave of amateur photographers and rucksack-toting travellers, so impressed designers Saksit Pisalasupongs and Phisit Jongnarangsin during a visit that the duo sought to recreate its mystic charm in the form of high fashion.
Inspired by the elegant architecture of the famous Chiang Khong temple—not to mention the sinewy figures in the murals decorating the interior walls and the coloured glass mosaics on the exterior—the Tube Gallery team takes to tight, almost Victorian-style cuts around the midsection to contrast the regal flowing bottoms of the floor-length dresses. Using their signature, meticulous embroidery technique to craft a kind of pattern they call “repoussé,” they produced uneven surfaces on the fabric, much like the embossed feel of the temple’s many mosaics. And in shorter dresses, this embroidery—as well as some sleek bands—accentuates the waist and gives balance.
Beyond the brilliant needlework, the team also replicates the colour schemes of the artwork at the ancient monasteries—indigo, cherry red, turquoise, goldenrod, and black. The result is dramatic yet fun designs, ready-to-wear dresses with “a touch of semi-couture,” as the designers say.
But this collection isn’t only for women (yes, guys, you’re finally represented!). The men’s attire features loosely tailored jackets and shirts, worn most often with trousers, but occasionally with peculiar, almost kilt-like bottoms. All feature mesmerising patterns—tight-fitting shapes not unlike colourful Jenga pieces. And with Tube Gallery being such an edgy brand, why wouldn’t they take some risks? Say, like taking a cut from Southeast Asian heritage, brushing it up with mostly dark winter hues, and doing it justice in deeply detailed dresses and suits?
- Siam Centre, 3F
- Siam Paragon, 2F
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