From fishnets to androgynous monochrome looks, the first Phnom Penh Designers Week looks set to make a stylish entry.
Some of the biggest players in Cambodia’s young fashion scene will show their latest collections at The Plantation hotel.
Organised by fashion monthly F Magazine, the three-night, invitation-only trade show starts on Friday and will feature 15 models wearing the works of nine designers.
Earlier this year, Cambodia Fashion Week, originally set for November 2012 was postponed for the third time, prompting designers to seek alternative ways to show their clothes.
“We needed somebody to do something,” said Soap Ke, editor-in-chief at F Magazine and principal organiser. “Something needed to happen to really showcase originality, really showcase that it can be made here.”
The show will be opened by Cambodian label SCT, the only locally run designer label in the fashion event.
“It’s not that I want to be the only one, but it happened this year and I feel honoured,” said SCT co-owner Noh Sar.
This year Sar’s clothing line, which he jokingly refers to as his “fishy collection”, will feature the sauciest, tangliest of women’s garments: fishnets stockings .
“SCT is known for its evening wear and wedding gowns, but now for Phnom Penh Designers Week, I will showcase only my ready-to-wear line. For this collection, I was inspired by the graceful movements of a fish swimming in water.”
Don Protasio, creative director at F Magazine and a fashion designer himself, said his collection from his self-titled brand will feature androgynous clothes in black.
“I like to focus on street wear that you can wear [on its own], not so much as evening wear or formal wear,” said Protasio. “The style can be a little bit dramatic, but when you isolate the pieces, they become very wearable, rather than something you have to wear for a special occasion.”
Other brands set to show include fair trade and social enterprise label Keok’Jay, Punk Couture by [CGBCN] and bridal wear specialist Anne Noelle.
Protasio said that despite the fairly small size of Cambodia’s high-fashion industry, local designers have a hard time being noticed due to the dearth of events.
“If designers don’t have an event or fashion event where they can show their collections, they don’t have the opportunity to make more creations,” said Protasio, who added that he considers himself very lucky to regularly have chances to showcase his work.
However, he said that he has noticed an increasing awareness of fashion since F Magazine launched four years ago.
“[Cambodia’s] fashion is not in line with what is happening globally, but with the influx of the Internet and our magazine, they see that there is so much more of what you can buy in Cambodia.”