Kingdom of fashion

Kingdom of fashion

Last Friday night saw the official launch party for Cambodia Fashion Week descend on the capital, and it bubbled over with glamour and excitement for the main event


The faux-seaside sands of St-Tropez Lounge played host to a crowd of Cambodia’s best designers, successful business people and discerning fashion types last Friday night, July 15, for the official launch of the Kingdom’s first ever Fashion Week.

Teia Rogers, business development manager for Star Events, the company which, in cooperation with the Cambodia Fashion Council, orchestrated the glittering affair, greeted the glamorous guests as they arrived, ensuring each had a glass of bubbling Tattinger in hand as they entered the space.

Pretty votive candles lined the red carpet which dissected the white sands of the outside area, while images of supermodels flickered over the faces of guests from an overhead screen.

Inside, a DJ spun popular dance floor fillers from the likes of the Black Eyed Peas while smiling waiters snaked their way through the buzzing crowd, offering up platters of dainty canapés.

“The vibe we wanted to create was one of exclusivity and decadence. From the canapés to the candles, we really strove to build a complete picture of the events to come. The aim was to say, ‘Look how far we went for a launch party, now imagine what we’re going to pull off for Fashion Week’,” said Rogers.

Excitement is definitely in the air as Cambodia’s first ever Fashion Week approaches. The 10-day main event is set to kick off on October 27 with an installation exhibition entitled the Art of Fashion. The following day will see the official Fashion Week Opening Night take place and from there, a slew of runway shows, designer meet and greets, film screenings and, of course, more fabulous parties will follow.

“When I’m talking about CFW, I‘m not talking about amateur shows and free beer; I’m talking about established designers, international press and champagne. It was important to communicate this [at the launch] so our guests could know what to expect,” Rogers explained.

“Across the board I received nothing but positive feedback, so now I know what works. I also know how much champagne people drink, which is vital to planning any event.”

While the venues for the runway shows are being kept top secret, Rogers says each will be something completely unexpected, aimed at impressing guests with what Cambodia has to offer while simultaneously showcasing the designs to maximum effect.

“The venues represent the diverse and interesting qualities of Cambodia and enable participants to get snapshots of the Kingdom… I think we were able to capture Cambodia – past, present and future – in our venue selections,” she enthused.

But it’s not only the Kingdom’s inner fashion circle that will be able to enjoy the fruits of the Fashion Week labour. Thanks to a major sponsor of CFW, telecommunications company Emaxx-Excell, much effort has been put into ensuring as many people as possible get to catch an insight into the creativity that exists here. The company will be ensuring professional international coverage of the event as well as hosting a local CFW-dedicated channel.

“While the events themselves are invitation only, we’ll be screening fashion shows live on CFW TV in various locations, so there is an opportunity for everyone to get in on it,” says Rogers. “We’ll also be hosting a fashion exhibition for retailers and the general public. Even this event has luxury attached to it – it’s champagne and canapés and shopping, all in one location. Who could ask for anything more?”
Come Halloween, the CFC and Star Events team

are planning a large-sale masquerade ball which members of the general public will be able to purchase tickets to.

“Think Eyes Wide Shut meets Phantom of the Opera,” says Rogers. “We’ve got international acrobats and artists performing and a few other mystery elements that will make this event incredibly memorable.”

Clearly, Cambodia Fashion Week is going to be overflowing with elegance and extravagance, and while it’ll undoubtedly be something 2011 is remembered for, it’ll also serve to grow local fashion business in terms of export, nurture the next generation of fashion industry professionals and embed the country in a global market worth millions.

“We fully believe that CFW will be a lasting event that continues for years to come. The vision isn’t just for CFW 2011; we’re looking into the future of this event and strategising ways to ensure its future success in coming years,” says Rogers.

Sophy Ke, president of the Cambodia Fashion Council, has no doubt this will be the case. “We are looking forward to seeing all of the participating designers showcase their designs on the runway. This is the first international fashion show [in Cambodia] so it will create a fashion scene here and really put us on the map.”

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