The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Sassy Bangkok fashion wear for everyday use: Introducing Kay Sachakul of The Oddyssee

Written By: herbrunbridge - May• 30•10

Kay Sachakul

When Prin “Kay” Sachakul says she wants her fashions for young women to be accessible

for the average Thai lady, she means it. In the world of Bangkok fashion, she’s an iconoclast. Rather than locating her shop at a glitzy complex, she put her first shop on the second floor of the slightly down-market Siam Theatre, on the south side of the Siam Square BTS station. There, on the same floor, were hair salons, a beauty school, and nail parlors, catering to the same customers for whom Kay designs.  

Her shop doubled as an art, sculpture, and photography gallery, incorporating a coffee shop.  “There’s never as much to do, gallery-wise, as there should be in Bangkok,” she notes. “Here, I change the shows every two weeks to one month.  What we’re doing is creating a “scene” for Bangkok, much like what you’d find in New York, Paris, or London.” 

After her smashing success at the November, 2004 Elle Bangkok Fashion Week ,  she moved across the street, to Siam Centre, still along the trading lanes traveled by her savvy, street-smart clientele.  Future plans include regenerating the coffee shop-art gallery in another space, which she’ll coordinate with designer Romain Dupuy. 

One quickly finds that Kay is more than the designer of smart, sassy streetwear. Kay’s background is heavily steeped in the arts.  Born in the U.S., her parents are professors who have always supported her desire to design clothes. She received her BA in Graphic Design from Chulalongkorn University in 1998, then opened a store in Chatuchak Market, selling her silkscreened t-shirts.  Soon, she was on her way to Paris where she received a diploma in textile design from the prestigious L’institut Superieur de L’art Appliqué.  

Returning to Bangkok in 1998, she ran into Chanita “Lee” Preechawitayakul of Senada Theory, who hired Kay two days later.  In her 18-month tenure with Senada, she designed the Senada Sense and Senada Vintage lines.  “It was exciting working at Senada… looking after design and all elements of production was tiring, but ultimately gratifying.” 

Kay’s first store was launched on October 1, 2003.  Why Siam Square?  “I like to see young people become involved in art. Maybe one out of every ten passersby walk in, and Bangkok doesn’t have many small museums and galleries… we wanted to put ourselves in the middle of a shopping district that attracts lots of young people.” Her prices are affordable for the average young Thai working woman, the designs contemporary. 

Her first collection, “Funk Nouveau”, was inspired by 1970’s Funk culture (she’s a fan of Kool & the Gang), and her current collection is called “Wannabe…” with designs loaded with small details, buttons, snaps (we loved the architecture-like working snaps on a great-looking tan and beige pair of pants).  

Oddyssee pants, skirts, and tops are essentially urban streetwear, utilizing rich cottons with motifs such as block printing and working snaps incorporating old bolts of vintage fabric, and juxtaposing them with the new.  “I mix old colors with old motifs, graphics…”  She holds up a nicely made top consisting of a cinematically-inspired photo montage: “This is made from block printing, and are photos of my friends.”  She selects a skirt with a printed design reminiscent of old French embroidered fabric, and discusses her enjoyment of older fabrics and design elements:  “It’s important, I know, to track all the new trends form year-to-year, and I do… but they’re not necessarily going to affect what I do with my own designs.” 

It’s apparent to us that Kay’s more than just an emerging, talented designer.  Her shop is worth a stop, and represents an interdisciplinary approach to art and design that we’re convinced will contribute to the Bangkok scene for sometime to come. 

The Oddyssee Mode Visual Loft, 3rdd Floor, Siam Centre,  BTS Siam Square Skytrain station.  Tel: (02) 658 1173

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