The Lone Ranger

The most unlikely new brand to debut in Bangkok appears in the most unlikely of places: Central Chidlom. At our city’s landmark department store, currently introducing two “luxury” zones (another story altogether, later), the French independent designer Gaspard Yurkievich’s second line Y has quietly found its way to the 4th floor, surrounded by clearly not like-minded neighbours such as Harley Davidson and G200.

Mr Yurkievich (left) is a fine designer but his clothes are not exactly of the same aesthetic that defines Central Chidlom’s sense of “luxury”. In fact, he is not a staple in the mainstream press’s coverage of fashion, which may mean that not many Thais have heard of him. The appeal is, therefore, uncertain, especially if we consider the fact that when it comes to dressing, many Thais prefer conspicuous expression.

I am not saying that Mr Yurkievich’s clothes are uninteresting, but he does tend to err on the side of the minimal. Not a bad thing of course. The details in, say, the shirts are more in the proportion and the finishing than in the surface treatment such as prints, appliques and embroidery. In this way, Mr Yukievich is a modernist, much like Veronique Branquinho and Kris Van Assche.

It must, therefore, be quite a gambol for the distributor Meticulous Co Ltd (the people behind the Thai shirt line Meticulous) to introduce Y to Thailand. But in doing so and in stocking the line at Central Chidlom, they are offering hope that there are discerning consumers who are willing to put good design above brand popularity. And Central Chidlom’s acceptance of a label that is largely untested here shows that they do not fear taking the route less travelled. On a floor filled with the usual menswear suspects, Gaspard Yurkievich stands out.

Gaspard Yurkievich is available at Luxe Men, level 4, Central Chidlom

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