Thai Designer Nagara & The Floating World (BIFW 2015)
Nagara Sambandaraksa can be regarded as the most renowned Thai fashion designer. He has designed for Thai royalty and his creations are strongly connected with his Thai heritage and regional influences. Thus, his designs are predominantly custom-made pieces created from Thai silk, borcade and other premium materials.
At the age of 15, Nagara left Thailand to study interior design in the United States and the UK. However, each summer he returned to Bangkok in order to study the art of fabric painting and design. After finishing his studies in the US and the UK, Nagara went to Omoto School near Kyoto in Japan to study Japanese traditional arts in textile design.
At the beginning of his career, Nagara made home furnishing fabrics and textile design. He started fashion design in 1983 and today he is well-known for his ‘East meets West’ designs and the distinct oriental character of his creations. Nagara fashion is a regular representative at Bangkok Fashion Shows and the International Fashion Week.
He travels a lot to find inspiration in other countries. Hence, he particularly loves the cities of India, China and Japan. However, he also likes European cities like Paris and Florence for their inspiring character. He feels the need to search for inspiration in other countries but at the same time Thailand’s fashion scene is becoming more dynamic and younger designers are receiving more support.
He thinks that it is also important to consider trends in fashion and to be guided by the younger generation. Nevertheless, the special feature of Nagara’s fahion is that he produces all the fabrics himself. This includes the weaving, printing and painting of the fabrics. Thus, he needs more time in creating the designs but they are unique. Hence, his signature style is using the world famous Thai silk.
We may describe Nagara’s style as flamboyant, extraordinary and yet simple. What is more, his designs are exotic. For instance, his 2014 collection was inspired by his travels to India. Hence, the designs are very colourful, oriental and many different fabrics are combined and mixed together. Nagara uses exotic materials like peacock feathers and native Indian floral prints. His recent collection is called ‘The Floating World’ and was featured at the Bangkok International Fashion Week 2015. This collection distinctively combines Japanese elements with a flamboyant design.
Finally, we may say that Nagara is Thailand’s most renowned fashion designer with good reason. His designs are extravagant and they combine Western and Eastern elements.
(All pictures in this post, photo credit: Nagara Naga, FB page)