Semi-deserted since passenger rail services were suspended in 2009, the Phnom Penh Railway Stat-ion came alive again last night for Cambodia Fashion Week, with crowds flocking to attend the premiere of Sentosa Silk’s men’s and women’s collection.
As well as Sentosa Silk, the station hosted two shows by fashion labels Colorblind and Waterlily on Sunday, with 20 Cambodian and foreign models showing off men’s casual wear by Colourblind designer Jean-Benoît Lasselin and jewellery designed by Christine Gauthier, from Water Lily.
Speaking on the sidelines of Gauthier’s show, model Em Riem told The Phnom Penh Post that although he would like to see more Khmer designers taking part, he was proud that Cambodia had joined neighbouring countries in hosting its first fashion week.
“We have only two Cambodian designers joining this event,” Em Reim said.
“I think that’s because Fashion Week is about high fashion for the stage, not normally designed clothes for parties, so not many Cambodians are interested.”
Watching Riem and his fellow models in the audience, Officer of Angkor Hospital for Children interim chief financial officer Thomas Ba said he was glad he was able to attend Fashion Week.
Remarking that fashion was one of his great loves, Ba praised the choice of the Phnom Penh Railway Station as a venue for runway shows.
“I think it’s a creative app-roach to show fashion at a railway station. In London, we have Fashion Week every year, and I hope Cambodian Fashion Week will become bigger and bigger, and feat-ure more Khmer traditional clothes made from silk.”
Ba got his wish last night, as Sentosa Silk unveiled a clothing range with figures from Khmer mythology woven into the fabric, as well as ornate headpieces ranging from elaborate Angkorian-era replicas through to more prosaic items like lampshades arranged to look like Greek statues.
Fashion Week continues tonight with a poolside show at Raffles Hotel Le Royale to present Jasmine Boutique’s new collection featuring clothes from its spring/summer 2011 collection, including couture business and evening wear sewn using hand-woven silk.
Speaking ahead of the Jasmine Boutique show, Fashion Week associate producer Jenny Cimaglia told the Post that with five catwalk shows completed so far, things were running smoothly.
“Its going extremely well so far. All the designers have been really happy with their shows. Day to day, we’re putting out fires, but the overall organisation is going fine.
“Fashion Week is all about Cambodia. It’s about the designers, and making sure they’re happy with their shows is the number-one priority for us.”