Rotsaniyom, this dream of a store portrays the dream of a Life: sometimes wistfully referencing the past, sometimes intently fixed on the present, with all the challenges, choices and allegiances a modern life entails.
At all times, beneath the delicate lace trimmings or ripped and grafittied fabrics, there is a 21st Century force that belies the feminine foibles.
That these oh so wearable clothes manage to tackle topics like religious obsession and homelessness, changing sexual mores and outright revolution, is a tribute to the creative mind behind the brand, OF together with his partner, Gift.
Personally, I love the themes of purity and innocence, contrasted with the waste and degradation of a society steeped in decadence and at odds with itself, and the idea that no small object, act or style goes unnoticed: everything can be included and made into a new ‘fabric’.
Taken as a whole, the collections form part of an artist’s vision, rather than a strict interpretation of a season’s prevailing trends or the dictates of the weather. Rotsaniyom’s style seems not to be trend-driven at all, but shaped by ideas about humanity and society and laced with more than a little poetry along the way. For me that is true art.
Shaped by ideas about humanity and society and laced with more than a little poetry along the way. For me that is true art.
I want to be a Rotsaniyom girl.
OF thinks nowadays some Asian brands follow foreign fashion designers but don’t adjust styles for themselves. They can’t pick up 100% of the meaning. “I want to show what I think but I work as an artist so it’s the thinking that interests me more than the technique.
OF: It’s the thinking that interests me more than the technique.
As OF and Gift put it, “The Victorian age looks so Thai. Thai style has a signature already but not in clothes. so many Thai designers don’t want to show their culture but instead would rather follow the world. In our opinion they must mix our culture; you must not accept 100% of another culture.”
You must not accept 100% of another culture.
The sophisticated thought processes behind the work are reflected in the names: one of their collections, a beautiful menagerie of crosses and golden opulence, contrasted with the ever-present stark virginal white, called, “In God We Trust”.
Another, “Papillon”, or butterfly in French. It is about forgetting the old, making new freedoms and starting again. “In the future there will be new maps as the world will change”. With the collection, “Recollection”, he wanted to show every graphic he has ever made.
He uses graphics in reverse to show another side of society. The key to the collection is democracy. “People use democracy in order to say anything. There are too many ideas and nothing happens, no progress.”
One collection, “Backstreet”, uses the homeless theme, “Because in this city there are so many homeless people, which only shows bad social management.”
He has two main labels, Rotsaniyom, which means personal taste, “This is for the Thai market, which places product over meaning,” and Rotsaniyom White Label, which is an art collection.
For the future of Thai fashion, OF says, “Now we have a few fashion designer groups. Senior designers pave the way to other countries to show that Bangkok designers have talent and style. There is also a small group of young designers, who are growing bigger because Thai people now eat design and style more.
“So many products on the market feature stars and celebrities too much.” He feels they are not using fashion in the right way.”In Thailand you don’t need to study design or art to prove yourself in Thai society.”
This small design group now will take fashion to other countries where every designer can be accepted. “Alongside designers like Wonder Anatomie, for example, who are the same generation as us, we’ll forge our brands abroad and then we will pick up Thai interest too. We want to be known to the international audience and then Thai people will follow. This new generation will inspire creativity in others. For example, the designer Thakoon is popular in NYC but not in Thailand, but by being popular there, finally the Thai people will begin to be proud of him.”
When asked what unique perspective Thai designers can offer, Rotsaniyom answer “Tradition, or Malai. For example, in that particular collection we can present to another country things which we use every day, because they don’t have anything like it themselves.”
Malai is a beautiful wreath or garland of Jasmine and Rose flowers, offered in traditional and religious ceremonies, a symbol of respect. I’ve seen them everywhere in Thailand, hanging above store doorways, on shrines and spirit houses, and I’ve been in many an early morning cab where the driver stopped in heavy traffic to buy the fresh malai of the day, from a vendor weaving between honking cars and tuk tuks, to hang above his mirror for safety and luck.
Young or otherwise, American, European, Asian, from all points of the compass, we can ALL
- pixiemarket.com in the USA, Malaysia, Dubai, Japan.
- Pop-up store in Laforet in Harajuku, Japan
- Online Orders & Select Stores in many countries, enquire: Rotsaniyom