8 March 2017
Philip Huang's Capsule Collection Launch in NYC
Model and designer Philip Huang hosted a presentation and dinner earlier this month in aid of the launch of his first fashion collection, "Collection 0, #isandreams’’. Held at a modern private loft-space in Chinatown, New York, the event was inspired by Thai and traditional Isan culture. Jim Thompson supported the launch with fabrics from the latest January Collection. Jim Thompson fabrics were featured as atmospheric floor cushions, chic drapery, and as luxury napkins, adding to the Thai-inspired theme. The presentation focused on the ethos and main inspirations behind Philip’s brand, with an introduction to Isan culture; following this guests were invited to enjoy traditional North-eastern Thai food including papaya salad prepared by Michelin star restaurant Somtum Der. The meal was served in a customary Asian style with guests seated comfortably on Jim Thompson floor cushions, allowing attendees to enjoy the authentic Thai ambience.
After 10 years of experience in the fashion industry Philip Huang wanted to create something of his own, a collection of essentials ideal for travel, wearable in the city or on the beach. “Isan dreams is a transportable world that can bring us anywhere” says Philip. Inspired by the idea that in dreams anything is possible, Isan Dreams is Philip’s capsule collection, shaped by multiple visits to Sakon Nakhon in Thailand, a city within the culturally rich Isan region and renowned for the Indigo cloth the “Indigo Grandmas” produce there. This concept of “journeying” was reflected in the event space where the collection was launched, walking into the heritage building located on the Lower East Side, guests were immediately confronted with a busy Szechuan restaurant called Flaming Kitchen; whilst in the elevator they might bump into someone all dressed up on their way to the Karaoke bar that occupies another floor. Essentially, guests experience a literal journey to arrive at Isan Dreams.
The exhibition occupied two units, rented off of Peerspace, these units were connected by a narrow corridor decorated with neon lights to create a transitional feel, allowing guests to move freely between each space. The presentation was held in the first loft, a space brimming with the owners personal collection of beautiful artifacts, sourced from all over the world. The transitional passageway led guests to the second loft, where the family style dinner, accompanied by a short film on the journey to Isan, took place. Jim Thompson fabrics from the new collections “Leo de Janeiro” and “Negresco” could be found throughout the apartments, Philip said: ‘we couldn't have done it without the help of Jim Thompson, it’s always amazing to work with people you look up to’.
Guests wandered through the exhibition freely, spending time in each area where four different ‘looks’ were created, each worn by four different models. Each model participated in a different activity, these ranged from getting a foot massage (foot massage machines were also available for guests), to writing letters using indigo ink, riding a bike, while the fourth model relaxed in a hammock. To add to the Thai theme, a screening of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Cemetery of Splendor was shown and Molam, traditional Isan music, was played. Speaking on the event, Philip said, ‘there was definitely a lot to explore, what I really love is that guests could now visit Isan and would feel an instant sense of familiarity.’
The event was attended by well known designers, writers, Huang’s modeling co-workers and creative friends. Guests included Cecilia Dean (Visionaire), Patrick Li (TMagazine), Chris Bollen (Interview), Waris Ahluwalia (designer and actor), Elizabeth Sulcer (stylist), Ivan Bart (IMG), and Korakrit Arunanondchai (artist), to name a few.
Philip Huang is currently planning a summer party in July to run alongside Men’s Fashion Week NY.
Posted by Amelia Jim Thompson on 8 Mar 2017