BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Wrapped in Thai silk and strutting down the catwalk in Bangkok’s mega exhibition hall, Malika said she was hand-picked by Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce to wear Chinese designer Yi Ming’s iconic silk dress, specially designed to honour the Thai Queen’s coming 88th birthday anniversary on Aug. 12.
“Before I rehearsed for the ‘Thai Silk and Fabric’ catwalk, the organizer for the event had briefed to me in regards to Chinese designer Yi Ming,” Malika, a Thai professional model from Bangkok, told Xinhua.
As chief designer for many international events, including the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, Yi enjoys a good reputation at home and abroad.
According to Pornpon Akathaporn, the CEO of the event titled “Heart Tied by Arts and Crafts, A New Way of the Handicraft Arts under the Royal Patronage,” which recently kicked off in Bangkok, Yi’s iconic modern style qipao dress made from Thai silk, was specially appealing to the Thai audience.
“We all understand that qipao (often) comes in red, and if it is the conventional Chinese qipao, usually it is made from Chinese silk,” said Pornpon. “However this time, in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s coming birthday anniversary, Chinese designer Yi Ming created a modern-style qipao, in purple, and made from Thai silk, in dedication to Her Majesty.”
Yi was one of the designers, among others from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, selected to design and create dresses from Thai silk, to reflect the culture of their respective countries.
Malika wore a purple-clad body hugging dress, with a belt defining her curve.
“It is a simple dress with no frills, but I feel elegant and confident,” she said.
Pornpon said the event, which boasts 400 booths, showcasing different types of Thai fabric and handicrafts from 76 provinces, was only possible after the Thai government had relaxed nearly all the COVID-19 restriction measures in July.
“Thailand is inching towards an 80 day free from local transmission of COVID-19, hence we are able to organize such a huge event where we can accommodate up to 1,000 patrons in this event,” said Pornpon.
“However safe we are in Thailand, we can not afford to let our guards down, those who don’t wear face masks and don’t practice social distancing inside the venue, will be told to leave the event.”