Rotsaniyom: Thai Fashion Designer
The Thai fashion label Rotsaniyom was founded by the couple Pongsak ‘Off’ Kobrattanasuk and Thita “Gift” Kamonnetsawat in 2007. Initially, this designer couple sold T-shirts at two stalls in Chatuchak Market.
Since their T-shirts sold very well among vintage lovers, Off and Gift expanded their fashion design and started a flagship store at Siam Center and recently opened another store at Emquartier. The stores are also designed with a vintage touch, thus there is an art deco inspired entrance evoking a nostalgic feeling in the visitor.
Their style can be described as vintage and retro with an Asian-ethnic touch. Hence, romantic and dreamy patterns, lace and romantic designs are predominant. The dresses are mostly cream coloured, white or pastel.
Designer pieces by Rotsaniyom are supposed to be pieces of art. Thus, the designers appreciate high quality and design incorporating some old school accessories like antique sunglasses or classic hair accessories. However, they also create jewellery and ‘adornments’ that are more edgy.
Gift has always been in love with fashion design and she particularly admires Thai fashion designers like Greyhound, Theoddyssee and It’s Happening. They are her main source of inspiration. In her view, there is no need to look at international designers in search for role models or inspiration.
Both designers love the Old Town in Bangkok and they also enjoy collecting vintage items. For instance, Gift bought a Japanese dress from the 1920s which she considers the oldest piece that she owns. Thus, vintage items are also a great source of inspiration for the Rotsaniyom desginers!
What is more, Gift draws upon movies, female characters and Thai culture for inspiration and ideas. In fact, her favourite female character is Mae Ploy, a young girl entering the service of a princess of Rama V’s Royal Household, in the movie ‘Four Reigns’. Gift’s aim as a fashion designer is to incorporate some Thai elements into modern fashion.
However, sometimes it seems difficult to bring modern fashion design and elements from Thai culture together. A prominent example is that a lot of Thai people were scandalized at Rotsaniyom’s Malai (Thai garland) collection in 2014 because they used these garlands in their shoe design. Some people did not like this because traditionally the Malai is used for paying respect to elderly people and to the Buddha.
Finally, we may say that Thai fashion design that wants to incorporate Thai elements can be a balancing act indeed. Nevertheless, Rotsaniyom is a great and creative Thai fashion brand that catches the fashionista’s eye.
(All photos in this post, credit: Rotsaniyom, FB page)