Amid the impressively organized chaos backstage before his show, Thakoon Panichgul offered a sound bite on his inspiration: “It’s a bit more dream and fantasy. It’s not that I hate reality but….” Hold on. Designers should never justify dreaming. Besides, reality is often overrated. Either way, Panichgul offered a deft and creative collection that transcended the mundane yet was grounded enough for daily life.
He riffed on an aviary theme, beginning with the opening look: a duchesse silk strapless dress done in a birdcage print, its golden bars following the lines of the dress, molded around the bodice with a bell-shaped skirt. Such “composition prints,” as Panichgul called them, were beautifully rendered throughout, replete with flowers, hummingbirds and butterflies in soft, painterly colors. He worked them on both black and white backgrounds, cutting them into panels on a modern shirtdress and combining them with lace for crafty collage effects on voluminous poplin T-shirts.
There was an artsy eccentricity to the collection, particularly when it came to the layering. A featherweight sheer knit crewneck in a delicate blue wallflower print was worn over a chiffon dress with giant translucent paillettes on the skirt. Complex but controlled, the effect was modest femininity derived from an original vision. Keep dreaming, Thakoon.