Photoshooting with Thai Fabric Jewelry

It’s been quite a while since my small handicraft shop ‘Sirinya Ann’s Atelier’ has been active. I first started out handcrafting items from Thai fabric in 2013. I don’t sell anymore but I still enjoy wearing the articles myself. Thus, recently I’ve had the idea to wear an extravagant collar necklace for a photoshoot. It turned out amazing and unique. I really love wearing jewelry that I created myself and that nobody else has.

Thai Fabric Jewelry

Sirinya wearing a colllar necklace made from Thai fabric

Sirinya wearing a colllar necklace made from Thai fabric

I realized that this kind of diy jewelry is truly amazing for giving an extravagant touch to any outfit. Though by now I’ve nearly run out of my crafting materials from Thailand, I still very much love creating accessories and jewelry with traditional Thai fabric.

En Vogue with a statement necklace made from Thai brocade

En Vogue with a statement necklace made from Thai brocade

 

Fashionshoot with Thai brocade necklace

Fashionshoot with Thai brocade necklace

I wish I had more access to these fabics but living in Germany, they are hard or even impossible to obtain. In this context, I’m also reminded of the Siamese fashionista, a trend that came up about four years ago. I recall that was a group that tried to maintain the way Siamese people dressed in prior centuries. I’m not sure what has become of this group and if traditional Thai clothing has become a dress that can be worn on any occasion. However, I very much like the idea of dressing in the traditonal Thai way. Crafting small items from Thai fabric has been my way to relate to this trend.

Wearing Thai fabric jewelry

Wearing Thai fabric jewelry

Finally, all I can say to finish off this little post, is that I’d really love to wear a traditional Thai dress and also that I’d like to have more fabrics of this kind for crafting.




Ek Thongprasert: Designer and Founder of Curated

Ek Thongprasert is a well-known Thai designer creating contemporary jewellery and fashion. Thus, he is the founder of the same-named brand and of Curated. He launched the Ek Thongprasert label in 2008 and just one year later ,in 2009, he founded Curated, his conceptual clothing brand which is inspired by Arts.

Thai designer Ek Thongprasert

Thai designer Ek Thongprasert, founder of Curated (photo: Ek Thongprasert, FB page)

Thai designer Ek Thongprasert, founder of Curated (photo: Ek Thongprasert, FB page)

This Thai designer studied first at Chulalongkorn Universtiy and earned a degree in Architecture. However, he wanted to pursue his career further and moved to Antwerp in Belgium where he studied fashion design at the prestigious Fashion Department of the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

Fashion design by Curated (photo: Curated, FB page)

Fashion design by Curated (photo: Curated, FB page)

Being an ambitious design student, Ek won many awards, for instance the Fashion Weekend Brussels. He had his breakthrough winning the International Talent Support award in 2007. After his graduation, he began selling his designs through the acclaimed French showroom Florence Deschamps.

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Ek Thongprasert’s main office is in Antwerp, Belgium where he moved in 2008. In the initial years as a dsigner, Ek was primarily concerned with cearting jewellery and womenswear. However, for a while now he also designs men’s clothing and other kinds of accessories. The original feature of his jewellery is that he preferably uses silicone to create the jewels.

AW15 collection, necklaces and bags embellished with silicone flowers and decoration (photo: Ek Thongprasert, FB page)

AW15 collection, necklaces and bags embellished with silicone flowers and decoration (photo: Ek Thongprasert, FB page)

The special feature of Thongprasert’s designs is his architectual background. Thus, he uses this knowlegde to create amazing designs that are unique in the world. Thus, his designs also have a strong conceptual aspect. That is to say that each of the designer’s collection is a complex combination of design elements and thoughts resulting in collections that are exclusive and unique.

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In this way, he creates timeless fashion with a message since the combinations of colour, details and shape let each garment tell a story. Hence, Ek Thongprasert’s creations are a perfect balance of creativity and simplicity that bring out and underline the wearer’s personality and style.

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Finally, we may say that the Thai designer label by Ek Thongprasert and Curated make a lasting impression because they are uniquely conceptual and timelessly elegant.

Yours, Sirinya

(*All pictures in this post, photo credit: ZALORA Thailand, unless otherwise stated)




Thai Beetle Wing Art and Decoration

Thai beetle wing art and decoration was very popular in Thailand. It was primarily used as decoration on royal clothing such as shawls and sabai cloths but also on jewelry. However, the ancient tradition of using Thai beetle wings has mostly died out in Thailand. Nevertheless, at the Dusit Palace there are some rare pieces of Thai beetle wing art and craft and jewelry displayed.

Thai beetle wing art

A modern take on beetle wing art - asymmetric earrings (photo credit: 3rd Rock Jewelry)

A modern take on beetle wing art – asymmetric earrings (photo credit: 3rd Rock Jewelry, FB page)

Me wearing beautiful beetlewing earings by 3rd Rock jewelry

Me wearing beautiful beetlewing earings by 3rd Rock Jewelry

In fact, at the Grand Palace, HM Queen Sirikit discovered old royal cloths that were embroidered with bug wing. Thus, HM Queen Sirikit set up the bug wing decoration-collage section at the Chitralada Center in order to preserve and honour this traditional art.

thai dolls carved from ivory wood with beetle wing decoration

Thai dolls carved from ivory wood with beetle wing decoration (photo credit: Charassri Nualsri on Pinterest)

HM Queen Sirikit’s intention was to create new works of art with the ancient tradition of using beetle wing. For example, beetle wings were tried in decorating sculpture and wood carvings. Another example is that multicolored fine strips of beetle wings were woven into yan lipao pieces such as basketry.

Thai beetle wing art

Thai beetle wing art (photo credit: Chitralada Center)

However, let me tell you something more about the bug used for this special art technique:

Beetle wings are the wings of the insect belonging to the genus Sternocera which is called malaeng thap in Thai. The beetle wings are very beautiful because they have an iridescent green and bluish surface. Hence, the beetle wings shine like emeralds and thus, this kind of beetle is also called ‘jewel beetle’.

beetle wing, jewel beetle

The beetle-wing, jewel beetle shines like an emerald (photo credit: Xufanc, Wikimedia.org)*

Since these bugs have a short life span, they are available in abundance and can be collected when they are dead. Then, the bugs’ wings are clipped off and used as sequins for embroidery and jewelry.

Natural material for making jewelry (photo credit: 3rd Rock Jewelry, FB page)

Natural material for making jewelry (photo credit: 3rd Rock Jewelry, FB page)

The life circle of the beetle wing starts on the rainy season which is called khao phansa (rains retreat) in Thai. The beetles die off after having laid their eggs in the period ending the rainy season. Therefore, the bugs’ alternative name is “malaeng khao phansa” in Thai which means ‘rains retreat insect’. The dead beetles are collected, thus their ecosystem remains intact and is not disturbed. In addition, HM Queen Sirikit had research conducted on the life cycle of the jewel beetle in order to ensure its conservation in nature.

Green and orange iridescent shades (photo credit: 3rd Rock Jewelry)

Green and orange iridescent shades (photo credit: 3rd Rock Jewelry, FB page)

I love my new jewel beetle earrings

I love my new jewel beetle earrings

Most of the wing pieces are an iridescent emerald color. However, you might notice that some wing pieces look slightly orange. This orange shade is in fact quite rare and only found in one out a few hundred beetles. What is special about Thai beetle wing art is that it is extremely durable. Thus, the natural shine of the beetle wings remain for decades and even centuries.

Necklace with jewel beetle (photo credit: 3rd Rock Jewelry, FB page)

Necklace with jewel beetle (photo credit: 3rd Rock Jewelry, FB page)

HM Queen Sirikit has also used Thai beetle wing decoration on her clothing and shoes 🙂 Today, her granddaughter who is a prominent Thai fashion designer, Princess Sirivannavari, also draws on traditional Thai craftsmanship.

Here are some very beautiful and awesome examples:

gold thread and beetle-wing embroidery on Thai silk queen sirikit museum of textiles

Gold thread and beetle wing embroidery on Thai silk*

 

queen sirikit shoes

The left pair of shoes has a beetle wing decoration on the front Queen Sirikit Shoes*

 

(*Photo credit: Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles)

Do you like Thai beetle wing art and decoration and would you wear it as jewelry or as sequins on clothes? I think beetle wings are a very good alternative to plastic sequins and beads because they come from nature. What is more, beetle wings allow people to admire and cherish the natural beauty of the jewel beetle 🙂

Yours, Sirinya