Award ceremonies in Bangkok are often curious events. In the fashion industry, they are, as I see it, mutual admiration opportunities lapped up by the patron and the recipient, both desirous of leaning on the reputation of being stylish. These awards are not hard to dream up and inexpensive to produce, and they easily satisfy the pretensions of the giver and the vanity of the taker. Elegance or smartness in dress does not always come into play, popularity and photogenic qualities of the nominees do.
Honouring stylish people is now regularly occurring, but does giving out any award to those deemed to have style make the the award “stylish”? I mean, when the police gives out medals for bravery to those regular folks who have, say, rescued unsuspecting citizens from violent harm, do they give out “brave” awards?
It was, therefore, utterly amusing to me when I came across the Zen Stylish Awards 2012 last night. It was not unreasonable to assume that the department store Zen combined two events of the pre-Red Shirts protest—Zen Stylish Woman Award and Zen Stylish Men Award—into one that honoured both sexes on the same day. A store’s budget constraints may necessitate the conflation of events, but the economy of words in event naming may lead to ambiguity or comedy, neither, perhaps only rarely, the sibling of style!
Maybe Zen did intend to hand out stylish awards. So, did they? If you were expecting gold-plated medals or crystal bowls, you would have been disappointed. Each recipient received an acrylic-encased card on which the event’s logo was positioned on the top left-hand corner and his or her photo on the right.
To honour the stylish , you must first be an arbiter of style. Don’t you agree?