By Han Sang-hee
Korea Times Correspondent
BANGKOK ― Korean top designer Andre Kim's fashion debut in Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday proved that he still had the elegant touch he has been pursuing for the past 47 years.
"Andre Kim Fashion Art Fantasia", which took place at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Center, was held to commemorate the friendship between the two countries and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Korea-Thailand diplomatic relations.
"It's a great honor to be here. When I first visited Bangkok, the Kingdom of Thailand, it was in 1966, 43 years ago. I dreamed (that) in the future, I would like to present a fashion show and finally it is the day", Andre Kim said during a press conference before the event, with the venue packed with some 100 Thai reporters and photographers.
Prominent figures, including Her Royal Highness Princess Som Sawalee and some 1,000 guests were present, with fans of actor Lee Jun-ki, who appeared as the main model, lined up outside the center to get a glimpse of the star.
Kim's Spring/Summer collection was presented under six different themes ― 2010 World Festival for Spring and Summer in Bangkok, Unforgettable Romanticism and Poetic Dream, Everlasting Glory for Kingdom of Thailand, Korea The Tales about Land of Morning Calm, Seven Veils Legend of Orient and My Love of Eternity in Shangri-La.
Singers Oh Jong-hyuk
and Evan Yu and local star May Pitchanart appeared as models along with the "King and the Clown" (2005) star Lee at the show, which displayed a unique collection of traditional and futuristic elements.
White, gold, bright orange, fuschia, turquoise, purple, neon pink and red colored dresses made their way across the catwalk, with some 170 creations greeting Bangkok fans for the first time.
The show started with models strutting the simple white runway dressed in pure white gowns with Kim's signature gold and silver flowery embroideries. With small white pieces of paper floating like flower petals, the models displayed elegant gowns and even short bubbly skirts with matching tights and gold and silver high-heeled sandals.
The second stage offered flowing, light pink dresses with sparkling embroidery and lace trains. The short yet graceful pink dresses resembled ballet tutus, and the models strut Kim's work with grace and dignity. The male models were charismatic in their simple yet stylish suits, some with colorful embroideries like the dresses, and others with pinstripes and even bow ties. With fans reacting whenever Lee appeared on the runway, the Korean actor was poised and graceful, taking every step carefully and successfully escorting Pitchanart from start to finish.
Another hallmark stage was the Everlasting Glory for Kingdom of Thailand, with models appearing in colorful Thai silk recreated as elegant dresses. The Seven Veils Legend of Orient stage offered Kim's staple piece: a lone model on the runway, wearing seven different colored robes. She took them off one by one, finally revealing a pink gown. The model then turned around and walked back, elegantly collecting the seven robes along the way.
The finale had models strutting with fabulous wedding gowns and the two main models, Lee and Pitchanart, bidding farewell to guests with their last walk as a couple.
Guests applauded enthusiastically when the show was finished, hinting that Kim's show was indeed memorable. Lee's popularity proved that hallyu, or the Korean wave, was still alive in Bangkok.
"The Thai people are very interested in fashion, including clothes, accessories and furniture. Korean actor Lee is also famous for his dramas and popular because he is smart and handsome", Sareporn Laovanijya from the Khom Chat Reuk, a Bangkok daily, told The Korea Times.
With fans and fashion lovers taking photos and reaching out to get a glimpse of the famous Korean designer and the handsome actor, Andre Kim Fashion Art Fantasia proved to be yet another success at one of the world's most exotic places.
Kim has made headlines for his unique approach to fashions show, including many world firsts, such as one in front of Egypt's pyramids and at Angkor Wat, in Cambodia. He is the first Korean designer to present his work in Bangkok and is also active in creating cosmetics, bicycles and even electronic goods.
Korean top designer Andre Kim, right, smiles as actor Lee Joon-gi
, left, appears as the main model with Thai star May Pitchanart at "Andre Kim Fashion Art Fantasia", which took place at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Center, Saturday. / Yonhap