May 28, 2023


The art of Fashion

Thakoon Panichgul on the Brand’s Evolution

4 min read

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 08:  Fashion designer Thakoon Panichgul backstage at the Thakoon fashion show on September 8, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)

Impression Supply: Getty / Ben Gabbe

Of the commonalities I share with Thakoon Panichgul — we equally perform in style, we are equally Asian American — the point that’s probably most astonishing is our Nebraska connection. My house point out is the type of “Pleasantville”-like position that people do not truly depart. So when you cross paths with another person who did, it is really a little bit like belonging to a solution society.

As it turns out, the 48-year-aged designer lived in Omaha immediately after his household immigrated to the United States from Thailand when he was 11. Panichgul recalls that he was “a vogue toddler” and fell in love with every thing type. His mother was a seamstress, and his grandmother taught him how to sew at an early age.

“All those ended up actually fantastic, sound, formative decades,” Panichgul tells POPSUGAR. “It truly manufactured me into the fashion man or woman I am these days. There was so substantially boredom in Nebraska that I needed to obtain one more outlet to do something. And I imagine that led me to fashion.”

In 2000, he acquired his commence in the field as an editor at Harper’s Bazaar right before a design career commenced to pique his desire. After researching at Parsons School of Design in New York Metropolis for two years, he burst onto the scene, turning into a formidable favourite amongst the early-aughts style set.

Absolutely everyone from Sarah Jessica Parker to Rachel Bilson wore his patterns. He created popular mass-market collections at Gap and Focus on. An additional profession milestone transpired in 2008, when Michelle Obama wore a floral Thakoon dress as her partner, Barack Obama, acknowledged the Democratic nomination for president.

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama hugs his wife Michelle on stage at the end of the Democratic National Convention 2008 at the Invesco Field in Denver, Colorado, on August 28, 2008. The Illinois senator tonight formally accepted his nomination as the first African-American from a major party to run for the White House before more than70,000 people. . AFP PHOTO Paul J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

Picture Resource: Getty / Paul J. Richards

That second — significant as it was — may well under no circumstances have even transpired in the 1st location, Panichgul reveals. He and his group built various possibilities for the would-be 1st lady mainly because she was a supporter and had been sporting Thakoon for a whilst. But they did not know when, or if, those people garments would ever make it to middle stage.

“When that showed up, I was viewing the conference — simply because naturally we all had been — I type of screamed out loud. My hair stood up on the again of my neck. And then all of a sudden, the telephones are ringing,” Panichgul says, including that a person of those people phone calls arrived from “Superior Morning The usa.”

The inspiration behind the striking black-and-crimson silk dress stemmed from one distinct flower.

“I was operating off the notion of examining peonies, mainly because it is really this kind of a straightforward, lovely flower, but so advanced in so several techniques,” he says. “The power when you seem into it — I just was nerding out on that flower. We turned it into a print and extrapolated the hues, and we performed with the negative of the colors.”

In conditions of the construction, it was reduce just about like a “reverse kimono.” The rather reserved restraint of the garment’s shape, put together with this idea of a peony vividly in bloom, brought to lifetime the now-legendary gown. “It’s an explosion of femininity,” he states. “I adore enjoying with these sorts of serious vitality.”

Even though Thakoon was at first a runway manufacturer, Panichgul shifted his solution in 2019, picking to evolve his namesake label into a immediate-to-buyer line of closet staples at a lot more available cost points. For spring 2022, his most recent ready-to-put on assortment, Panichgul is channeling relieve with lightweight materials like cotton and silk, eyelet patterns, and other reimagined design and style specifics.

Picture Source: Thakoon

“A classic illustration of a dress turning into this sort of a hero solution of ours right now — because it pretty much sells out as before long as we fall it — is our smocked-waistline shirtdress,” he states. “Smocking is not a new idea, but when you pair it with a additional chic, tailor-made piece, like a shirt or a shirtdress, all of a unexpected, you might be playing on feminine and masculine in a way that is new and remarkable for the customer.”

The spring 2022 assortment features crisp white and black eyelet items, along with printed jumpsuits and airy shorts. A single glance at the collection’s 12 appears to be like makes it apparent that he’s putting volume back again into participate in — like with a midi-duration, trapeze shirtdress in a fragile eyelet pattern — though experimenting with his signature prints. He is introducing a black-and-white ivy-like floral print on a cotton and silk cloth on 3 unique pieces.

“I’m emotion subtle prints once again,” he claims. “For a extended time, prints haven’t been in the forefront. I am emotion that vitality back.”

Impression Supply: Thakoon

While Panichgul isn’t ruling out a return to the runway at some level in the future, he is discovering reason in his current mission of producing massive, often intimidating developments attainable for all.

“Yes, the buyer loves a excellent balloon sleeve, sequins, or regardless of what trick you arrive up with development-wise, but finally, she’s not carrying that,” he states. “She’s form of consuming that visually on social media, and she can like it, but it would not mean she’s heading to obtain it. For me, two distinctive points are happening in fashion, and they can coexist. But I’m interested in really paying notice to what the customers are needing correct now.”