Fashion design
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‘In Remembrance Of’ AW13 by Kamonnart Ongwandee


Isn’t it amazing how we change our attitude towards wrinkles?
We used to say, “I don’t like that fabric because it wrinkles.”
Now we say, “Look at the wonderful wrinkles!”


A Graduate Collection by Kamonnart Ongwandee

The graduate project ‘In Remembrance Of’ Autumn/Winter 2013, is what started as a research of Kamonnart’s interest in zen buddhism and Japanese aesthetics. Having read and researched a lot of Japanese aesthetics philosophy, she was mesmerized by the beauty of the Japanese ritual about death in Departures, The 2008 Japanese drama film by Yōjirō Takita.Showing conflicting concepts of what we know, Instead of grieving and being sad, the story gradually pointed us towards grace and beauty in death and transience, and finally inspired her to explore the possibilities to translate this concept into everyday object like clothes. A more immediate goal is to make zen philosophy more into our everyday life.

The collection tells the story in similar themes, all about the beauty of transience, through different textile surfaces. Changing from dark to light, The first looks convey the concept of aging and death in black&white, and In the end the clothes became grey and white, with white-on-white surfaces.

The textile is intended for telling story itself. Each pieces are produced by part-human, part-machine. However, The development of fabric is based on creating embroidery without sewing, as it is the designer’s weak point. Thus, Kamonnart has produced numbers of textural surfaces by experimenting various textile techniques. Needle felting and wet felting is interpreted in a new and contemporary way, a technique Kamonnart developed in her studio. She has used a wool yarn, felted on to the mohair and cashmere. Silk fabric are wrinkled and literally burned to create a gradational design that makes it look as if it was always changing. Some textile has a devoré surface combined with a transfer printing. Or, It is dyed and then treated by hand-burning using heat dryer and hot press to achieve the wonderful iridescent look.

With an awareness of ecological issues and Thailand’s very rich textile tradition, Kamonnart also engaged in particular the use of Thai silk, which create a wonderful translucent surface. Some silk fabrics in the collection has been embossed using a hot press, and given a beautiful textured finish to give a fresh, unique look and feel to the traditional textile. Besides, Transfer printing on silk is seen as a good example of an ecologically sound process because it eliminates the need for screens and the fixing of dyes, the part-printed textile catches the light in a subtle and beautiful way as well.

Using those developments in fabrics on classic, minimal western silhouettes, Kamonnart creates a piece of art that people can wear in everyday life but with god in the details. The overall collection demonstrates a sensitivity to both western and oriental cultures and brings the aesthetics from both worlds together while communicating a message about the fragile nature of our life.

“In experimenting with fabric, the possibilities are unlimited and the results are always unique. The end product is always a surprise.
You can never imagine what you will achieve, because the techniques added dimension and texture to fabric, giving it an entirely new appearance. It is the beginning of the most fun creativity you can imagine.”

“My inspiration comes from a variety of sources, frequently from the natural world, both concrete and abstract. The experiment with fabric was real fun. However, the problem I faced in the project was, Needle felting by hand can create great variety in relief surface and forms, but is time-consuming and therefore expensive.”

Words: Courtesy of Kamonnart Ongwandee
Photography: Kamonnart Ongwandee, Varunyoo Thongdee, Tada Hengsapkul, Kriengkrai Hoonjang
Thank you Jetsada Reungsangsilp, Sasithorn Premchit, Pattharawan Sooksawee