Recycle, Reshape and Reuse, this was the theme for a Fashion story, not show, that took place at the Australian Ambassador’s Residence, hosted by Ambassador H.E. Mr Paul Robbilliard and his wife, an event organised by SHOM (the organisation for Ambassadors’ spouses) on Saturday, 12 May 2018.
The Ambassador welcomed all the guests before handing the microphone to Mr Kevin Colleary (spouse of the Portuguese Ambassador) who explained a bit of what SHOM is striving to achieve, the wish to give back to Thailand, “a country that so heartily welcomes us.” SHOM meets regularly and plan charity projects and events. The current President for SHOM is the spouse of the German Ambassador, Signora Lucia Constantini Pruegel but she hands over to Madame Gracita, the wife of the Swiss Ambassador in July.
On this evening we gathered together to celebrate important aspects of recycling clothing, about what is possible when we recycle our fashions and leverage our collective interest in fashion to raise funds for Thai SOS (Scholars of Sustenance). The Thai SOS model has expanded to include the rescue of surplus food and to redistribute it to those in need, food not suitable for consumption, or to use it in a composting programme.
We were all asked to bid on the recycled and thereby transformed fashion, to contribute towards reducing food insecurity and transforming the lives of the most pressing societal and environmental issues of our time. Several designers transformed garment pieces, donated by 20 Ambassador’s spouses. Karin Herrström, spouse of the Swedish Ambassador Staffan Herrström, gave the Thai designer Khun Nong, 2 pieces of exquisite linen table cloths produced by the famous Swedish family-owned company Klässbols. This company dates from the late 1800’s and has had a Royal Warrant since 1970.
“On this evening we gathered together to celebrate important aspects of recycling clothing, about what is possible when we recycle our fashions… Overall, a very memorable event and with a good fund raising result.
These exclusive white linen cloths were turned into a lovely, simple summer dress, perfect for hot days in Bangkok. Karin fell in love with the dress immediately and protected the bidding so no one could take it away from her. She received her tablecloths, without even the slightest little wine spot, transformed into a wonderful dress, she was very pleased. The spouse of the German Ambassador Peter Pruegel, signora Lucia, gave the designer a long evening gown designed by a young Yugoslav designer. This dress belonged to Lucia’s favourite dresses and she has worn it at several occasions.
“Unfortunately the fabric doesn’t work for Bangkok and the size doesn’t work anymore for me”, she says with a warm smile. “I have to say goodbye to this dress that I have so many good memories of, but I’m glad it will have a second life and make someone else happy”.
All designers did a great job and ought to be mentioned: Mr Ayuttagarn Chantachot transformed an old dress owned by Mrs Astrid Amaya, spouse of the Colombian Ambassador; Khun Chai Shahi, changed the Hungarian Ambassador’s spouse Krisztina’s traditional Hungarian blouse into a dress; Khun Chutshompu Kormalsinghsakul, made a dress out of a two- piece owned by the spouse of the Korean Ambassador; and Khun Krisada Thipprasit changed Australian Mrs Hanan’s daughter’s first formal dress into a luxury evening gown.
Khun Puvasa Chanhom transformed a dress owned and worn by Galina from the Hellenic Republic. Khun Sam Sethi, a pharmacist by profession, but with a passion for fashion and actively involved in a number of charity fashion shows for Her Majesty Queen and HRH Princess, changed a Roberto Cavalli dress into a traditional Sari.
Khun Shone Puipia took the opportunity to transform a long, simple evening gown owned by Federica Fonnesu from Italy, into a fancy coat and added some sparkling feathers, a very popular piece. Last but not least, Khun Thananan Katetong is inspired by the richness of Thai silk. He redesigned a jacket belonging to Kevin, spouse of the Portuguese Ambassador, into an evening jacket with shiny beads on the lapels and he also changed Alyx’ (Whispers of Fashion) Egyptian suit into a smart, fancy suit.
Through the evening, Sparkling, Red, White and Rose wines were offered and finger food from ISSAYA and J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain, two of Bangkok’s most popular restaurants. A night like this needs contributors and sponsors, so a big thank you to: the Australian Embassy, Deutsch-Thailändische Handelskammer, AustCham Thailand, Be a Starlet, Whispers of Fashion & Pleasures. Other sponsors include: Bangkok’s Dance & Music Festival, Bangkok Patana School, Banyan Tree, B. Grimm, Central Food Hall, Crown, dwp, ISSAYA, J’AIME, METRO, Singha Beer, Sukosol Hotels, The Duchess and thermomix.
Overall, a very memorable event and with a good fundraising result. The highest bid became an evening dress, donated by the American Ambassador’s wife Jacqueline Davies, a long, white/ silver gown covered with stones and beads – suitable for a big ball.