June 19, 2010

Summer with a Japanese sparkle at Sukhumvit soi 26

 A small downtown boutique offers an attraction collection of unique and unusual fashion and jewellery designs.
                     
                                  Two sisters with a penchant for all things sparkly recently opened their new boutique at the community mall K-Village on Sukhumvit Soi 26 and already they're attracting fashionistas with an eye for something different.
"We called our boutique Kirameki, which in our mother's language, means sparkly things," says Patrawadee Wongwasin, the older of the two half-Japanese, half-Thai sibs. Neeranuj, or Nuj as she's affectionately known to friends and family, a graduate in fashion design from Chulalongkorn University, is responsible for the intricately designed jewellery and clothes for sale in the shop.
"It really started as a hobby, I made some accessories for myself. Friends liked what I wore and word spread around about my designs," says Nuj modestly.
Her hobby quickly became a career, as more and more friends ordered her accessories. One of her clients worked for trendy boutique Soda in Siam Centre and before long Nuj was making accessories for Soda too. The feedback was good and Nuj has now completed three entire collections for the store.
"I always wanted to be a fashion designer. As a kid, I used to design dresses for my dolls. I learned how to make accessories by myself. When I went shopping with my mother to Sampeng market, I'd always ask her to stop by the bead shops," Nuj says.
Big sister Pat graduated from England with degrees in finance and risk management.
"In the beginning I wanted to import brand name cosmetics so I worked with the Mall Group for three years. I'm putting that experience to good use now by looking after the management and marketing at Kirameki," she says.
The boutique offers stylish blouses, pants, dresses, skirts, shorts and shirts along with a jewellery corner featuring rings, earrings, necklaces and shoes. The summer collection has a tribal theme that focuses on bright colours and is made primarily from wooden beads and feathers.
"When I design something, I search for the materials first. Then I rearrange them in different ways until I have an image in my head of how I want the piece to look," says Nuj.
Each design is limited to no more than five pieces, with the emphasis on quality. All are handmade from scratch in the shop. "It's all about experimenting," says Nuj.
Kirameki also offers limited collections from Korea and Hong Kong.
"We want our items to be unique, something that customers won't find elsewhere.
In the future, Kirameki hopes to rely less on imports but for now, Nuj is its only designer, both for the clothes and the accessories.
A new collection will soon be available. Inspired by impressionist school of art, the new designs will focus on colours and flowery patterns, showing summer's softer side.

By NATSHA NANDABHIWAT
THE NATION ON SUNDAY

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