Celebration of Thai Silk

by Kathleen Pokrud

The final curtain of the whole week of 9th Celebration of Thai Silk came with the Grand Fashion Extravaganza on November 23, 2019 at the Royal Thai Navy Convention Hall.  The event was a great success and credit to Mr. Edward Kiti, President and Founder of the Tourist Assistance Foundation, and his team who had been working incessantly on the project.   They pulled off an amazing experience for everyone involved and attended the week long episodes of fashion shows, and excellently promoted Thailand to the world.

Every year since 2010, the Thai Tourist Assistance Foundation, in collaboration with members of the foreign diplomatic corps in Bangkok, has organized the Celebration of Silk project to exhibit traditional and modern Thai silk and design.  2019 showcased the 9th annual celebration to commemorate Her Majesty’s 87th Birthday. In honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, the Queen Mother, the Celebration of Silk project ran for an entire week (from November 18 – 22), with design seminars, university lectures, commercial displays and an extraordinary nationally televised fashion show each year.

Great expectations met at 9th Celebration of Thai Silk 

In 2019, a total of 71 countries participated in the project. Last year marked the biggest Thai Silk Fashion event ever held in Thailand.  Different country designers created Royal Thai Silk costumes for their respective Ambassador, Spouse of Ambassador or Embassy representative.  The Grand Opening Fashion Show was an extravaganza affair which was officiated by the Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha in front of an audience over 5,000 media personalities, designers, celebrities, government officials, diplomats, buyers, business and industry leaders.

Last year observed the participation of 33 Ambassadors, 30 Spouses of Ambassadors, 8 Deputy Chief of Missions, and 26 Embassy representatives. With the 2019 project, the 2nd International Thai Silk Fashion Week was held for five full days at Eden Zone, Central World. It successfully showcased 24 full fashion shows by 43 fashion designers. During the week-long event, each designer exhibited a collection of Thai Silk costumes and also their own latest collections.  The Next Big Designer Contest, its first on Fashion TV was launched at the Finale. 

One of the highlights of the Grand Opening show was the participation of Celebrity Models such as renowned fashion designer, Professor Datuk Jimmy Choo, Dato’ Aziz Bakar (Director of Air Asia Berhad.) and Datin Norma Norell (fashion and textile designer).   Beauty Queens from 13 countries around the world participated in last year’s fashion shows wearing Thai Silk dress designed by either designer from their own countries or Thai designers. Their appearance helped to promote the use of Thai Silk and Thai cultures through their fan clubs and social medial followers to around the world.

The design concept for last year was  “The Land of Smiles”. Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, Thai people do smile a lot.   It is Thai culture to be kind hearted, friendly and helpful. A Thai smile can mean Happiness, Amusementd, Embarrassmented and or Apologyetic.  This unique culture makes Thailand welcoming to the world.

Total number of participating countries: 71

Total number of participating Ambassadors: 33

Total number of participating Spouses of Heads of Missions: 30

Total number of participating Deputy Chiefs of Missions: 8

Total number of participating Embassy representatives: 26

Total number of international designers: 43

Total number of Thai designers: 12

Total number of Celebrity Models: 15

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