Photo source: Getty / Ben Gabe
The similarities that I share with Thakun Panichgul – we both work in fashion, we are both Asian Americans – perhaps the most amazing thing is our Nebraska connection. My home state is a place like “Pleasantville” that people don’t really leave. So when you cross paths with someone DidIt belongs to the secret society.
As it turns out, the 48-year-old designer lived in Omaha when his family moved from Thailand to the United States at the age of 11. Panichgul recalls that he was “a fashion kid” and fell in love with the style of everything. Her mother was a seamstress and her grandmother taught her how to sew at an early age.
“Those were really good, tough, constructive years,” Panichgul tells Popsugar. “It really made me the fashion personality I am today. There was so much loneliness in Nebraska that I had to find another outlet to do something. And I think it got me into fashion.”
A design career sparked his interest in 2000, before he made his debut in the industry as an editor at Harper’s Market. After studying for two years at the Persons School of Design in New York City, she burst into the scene, becoming a huge favorite among early fashion sets.
Everyone from Sarah Jessica Parker to Rachel Bilson wore her designs. He created popular mass market collections in Gap and Target. Another milestone in her career came in 2008, when Michelle Obama wore a floral dress while her husband, Barack Obama, accepted the Democratic nomination for president.
Image source: Getty / Paul J. Richards
That moment – as important as it was – never happened in the first place, reveals Panichgul. He and his team made multiple choices for the first lady because she was a fan and wore thakun for a while. But they didn’t know when, or if, these costumes would ever come to the center stage.
“When it was seen, I was watching the conference – because obviously we were all – I screamed in a way. My hair stood on the back of my neck. And then suddenly the phone rang,” Panichgul said, adding that one of those calls was “Good.” Morning America “
The inspiration behind the attractive black-red silk dress originated from a certain flower.
“I’m working off the idea of testing peonies, because it’s a simple, beautiful flower, but complex in many ways,” he says. “The power when you look at it – I was just finding that flower. We turned it into a print and extrapolated the colors and we played with the color negatives.”
In construction, it was cut almost like a “reverse kimono”. The relatively reserved restraint of the shape of the dress, combined with this idea of a peony, has brought to life the iconic dress of today. “It’s an explosion of femininity,” she says. “I like to play with such extreme strength.”
Although Thakoon was originally a runway brand, Panichgul changed its outlook in 2019, choosing to develop its name label into a more accessible price point in the direct-to-consumer line of closet staples. For the spring of 2022, her latest ready-to-wear collection, Panichgul is easily promoting with the details of light weight fabrics like cotton and silk, eyelet patterns and other redesigned designs.
Photo source: Thakun
“Right now it’s a classic example of us becoming such a hero product – because as soon as we drop it, it literally sells out – our smoked-waist shirtdress,” he says. “Smoking is not a new concept, but when you combine it with more glamorous, sorted pieces, such as a shirt or a shirtdress, all of a sudden, you’re playing with the feminine and masculine in a way that is new and exciting to the customer.”
The spring collection of 2022 includes crisp white and black eyelet pieces with printed jumpsuits and aerial shorts. A glance at the 12 looks of the collection makes it clear that she’s bringing volume back into the game – like a midi-length, trapeze shirtdress in a delicate islet pattern – while experimenting with her signature print. She is introducing a black-and-white ivy-like floral print on three different pieces of cotton and silk fabric.
“I’m feeling the fine print again,” he says. “For a long time, the prints didn’t come out. I feel that energy back.”
Photo source: Thakun
Although Panichgul is not denying that he will return to the runway at some point in the future, he is finding the purpose of his current mission to make the big, sometimes frightening trend achievable for all.
“Yes, the customer prefers a good balloon sleeve, sequin or the technique you came up with according to the trend, but in the end, he did not wear it,” he says. “She’s apparently using it on social media and she might like it, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to buy it. For me, two different things are happening in fashion and they can stay together. But what I really need interested customers right now is To pay attention. “