Last week, I flew to Bangkok to attend the opening event of the fifth edition of the Cabinet of Curiosities by Thomas Erber. After Colette in Paris, Browns in London, Andreas Murkudis in Berlin and Maison Kitsuné in New York, the annual exhibition went the first time to Asia. Thomas Erber has been an acclaimed journalist, writer and special correspondent in the fields of travel, culture and trend for 15years. In addition, he also works as a brand consultant.
Barom Bhicharnchitr to the left and Thomas Erber to the right with me
In collaboration with Barom Bhicharnchitr, founder of the Siwilai concept store, located in Bangkok’s new mind-blowing shopping mall Central Embassy, Thomas Erber curated the biggest cabinet ever.
Containing the finest pieces from the fields of fashion, design, high jewelry, art, photography and more, renowned brands such as Paul Smith, Maison Kitsuné, Harumi Klossowska, Marquis de Montesquiou and many more have created a unique or very limited edition piece, aimed at enhancing the essence of his artistic work or brand and especially created for the Cabinet of Curiosities by Thomas Erber.
Siwilai concept store
On top of the more than 80 guests from more than 20 different countries participating, 4 world-class Michelin Star chefs and renowned musicians are participating in the event that will take place until December 21st 2014 at Siwilai & Central Embassy as well as at an additional surprise venue for secret events.
The extreme, natural-minded scenography perfectly integrates to the shapes of this post-modern spaceship that is Central Embassy.
And now let me show you my favorite pieces that are now on sale:
INTERIOR & OBJECT DESIGN — EST . 1996 PARIS, FRANCE
Moulded, lasercut steel
Edition of 6
The French interior designer François Champsaur arrived in Paris from the Southern capital of Marseille in the 1980s, with extensive aesthetic studies at both the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs, leading him to pursue his own practice to much acclaim. The lamp is laser-cut in steel and assembled with invisible welding, its sides lacquered individually in black, grey accentuated with yellow, and royal blue.
FASHION — EST . 2002 PARIS, FRANCE
Safari ensemble – cotton
Maison kitsuné is the playground of Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki – a hybrid label that criss-crosses between music, fash- ion and design around the globe, from Paris and Tokyo to New York (and now Bangkok!), supporting cutting-edge musicians and making cool clothes to dress them. The kitsuné safari ensemble is a smooth segue from the label’s quirky spirit into the Cabinet de Curiosités, taking their no-fuss, purist attitude into the heart of the jungle. The short-sleeved shirt and the shorts are cut in khaki-coloured 100% cotton fabric and feature the iconic kitsuné fox patch above the left breast pocket – except here he stands facing a new friend, the Thai elephant.
MARQUIS DE MONTESQUIOU
WINES & SPIRITS — EAU ZE, FRANCE
Armagnac Millésime 1975 Rare Armagnac, six last decanters available over three casks
An iconic symbol of the French Art de Vivre, Marquis de Montesquiou is a boutique Armagnac house renowned and awarded across the globe for creating one of the greatest handmade brandies in their dis- tillery in Eauze, in the Southwest of France. The Maison offers the last six decanters available in the world of its rare Armagnac Millésimé 1975, a numbered and limited series of three oak casks.
INTERNATIONAL 2014 GUESTS
MEN’S JEWELLERY — EST . 2012 PARIS, FRANCE
“Golden Axe” bracelet set
Sterling silver engraved bracelet
Edition of 9
The “Golden Axe” set by Le gramme is a unique piece composed of nine 33g sterling silver bracelets handmade in France, one for each of the nine dynasties of Thailand. Famously known as the “golden Axe”, the map of Thailand is engraved across the nine pieces like a puzzle, remaining an abstract linear design across each piece, emerging only when they are united. Each piece is numbered in the nine piece series and engraved with its weight in the Thai alphabet, with a further symbolic 9 to honour the king Rama IX.
WOMENSWEAR — EST . 2009 NEW YORK, USA & GUIZHOU, CHINA
Fringed necklace gown – cotton
Angel’s pleated gown features a floral-etched necklace collar and hand-stitched skirt, the fabric dyed black in August according to the shamanistic calendar of the Miao people. Apart from the lasercut fringe overlay created with Hong kong-based studio The Fabrick Lab, no electricity was used in the creation of the fabric or production of the dress – not even electric lighting –, the entire process occurring outdoors during daylight hours.
PIERRE FREY x TOXIC
TEXTILES & WALLPAPER — EST . 1935 PARIS, FRANCE
“No Toys Allowed” 3-piece unwoven wallpaper design, 3.5m x 2.5m
Edition of 10
Pierre Frey is a Paris-based design studio, specialising in wallpaper and textile design in the French tradition that presents a limited edition three-piece wallpaper design featuring “No Toys Allowed”, a painting by American graffiti artist Toxic, also known as Torrick Ablack. Toxic is considered one of the seminal members of eighties New York street art scene and a peer of both Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, whose artworks capture the youthful energy of Bronx rebellion.
ARTISANAL PERFUME — EST . 2002 NEW YORK, USA
“Hay” eau de parfum “Hay” scented candle
Edition of 10 & 20
Claudia de Pablo Vicens created the bespoke “Hay” candle and room spray that both invoke the memory of wet grass after a summer rain, with notes of pure citrus, woods and florals.
JIM THOMPSON x OGREONER
SILK TEXTILES — EST. 1951 BANGKOK x EST. 1995 PARIS
Spray paint and Posca markers on 2-ply
Thai silk fabric
100% Thai silk twill
Unique Piece & edition of 50
Thai silk company Jim Thompson has kept its founder’s ethos to modernize the Thai silk industry while keeping its craft completely local. The company sustains its own silk farms, mills and design studio, producing all its fabrics in-house thanks to the hands of Thai master weavers, spinners and dyers. For this piece, the brand has teamed up with renowned French graffiti artist Olivier Burel, aka Ogreoner. Off the back of a highly buzzed collaboration with Chanel, which held prime position in Colette’s Rue Saint-Honoré store window during Paris Fashion Week earlier this year, Ogreoner was invited to make his mark in a new country. The artist took his spray cans to Thailand, and after more than 50 hours of freehand work, brought Naga Pitak to life. Ogreoner first encountered the naga at the Jim Thompson House; a mythical serpent, a symbol of protection, it is a hallmark of traditional Thai architecture.
LOTUS ARTS DE VIVRE
FURNITURE, FINE JEWELLERY & OBJETS D’ART — EST. 1980 BANGKOK
Sterling silver parts, crocodile skull with Tiger’s eyes quartz detail, iron wood andleather
The von Buerens, Lotus Arts de Vivre’s founding family, are a venerable clan of travelers, collectors and creators. Every handcrafted object is an intricate meld of East Asian tradition, modern opulence and functionality. Nearly all their creations are one-of-a kind, and everything is completed in their Bangkok workshop, like The Skateboard Crocodile which is a true piece of art.
LAEND PHUENGKIT x OH FUTON
FASHION — EST . 1987 BANGKOK
“Jacky” shirt -100% silk-satin
“Ken” shirt - 100% poplin, silk-cotton parts
Photography by Tanapol Kaewpring
Editions of 14
Zurich-born, Berlin- and Bangkok-based Laend Phuengkit may be new to the scene, but his designs have already earned him a Swiss Design Award in 2011 and a showing at Berlin’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Days in 2012. The designer’s unabashed use of traditional Thai and Asian-influenced colours, draping and prints, coupled with his dynamic pattern-making, gives rise to boldly proportioned garments with a demi-couture slant. Hide and Seek marks Phuengkit’s return to his native Bangkok and is, aptly enough, his first collaboration with an Asian artist, Oh Futon. A wearable commentary on human emotions, his shirts invite us to take a closer look and see the stories behind the person.
LOTUS x ATELIER PETER NITZ
CABINET SPECIAL COLLABORATION
LUXURY MAROQUINERIE — EST. 2008 ZURICH, SWITZERLAND
Dragon clutch Alligator, silver, gold, rubies, pearl
American-born designer Peter Nitz cultivated his eye for antiques and artisanal luxury goods working in a Chicago auction house, before the old world splendour of Europe beckoned him to Zurich. The “Dragon clutch” is an exceptional, one-of-a-kind evening clutch created in partnership with Lotus Arts de Vivre, fusing Peter’s classical romance with the Eastern exoticism of the dragon. Shaped in dark grey, matte alligator skin, the rounded box shape features an engraved frame and is closed by a dragon’s head clasp – its eyes two shining rubies, the mouth clutching a grey pearl.
LUXURY LEATHER GOODS — EST . 1987 CHAN GMAI
SofTote (M) bag
Matte black wild niloticus crocodile hide with lambskin leather lining
“Urban T City” bag
Black cashmere calf with wild niloticus crocodile trim
“Luxury is about delivering real value and real things,” and to François Russo, nothing personifies this realness like the perfect leather bag. Disillusioned with the generally poor quality of European luxury leather goods, the designer moved to Thailand in 2006 and founded Maison Takuya, a leather goods brand that blends Russo’s French heritage with his fondness for Japanese craftsmanship. The bags themselves, if not perfect, come close : each one is processed and stitched entirely by hand in the brand’s Chiang Mai manufacture. Each step is performed by one of 150 highly skilled Thai artisans under the tutelage of European and Japanese leathercraft masters. (Maison Takuya is also available at Trois Pommes in Switzerland.)
INDUSTRIAL DESIGN — EST . 2006 BANGKOK
Handcrafted ping-pong table
Hand-casted brass base with Teng wood top and Makha Tae wood inlay
Hand-casted brass legs with 3D wooden shells and leather upholstery
Handcrafted ping-pong paddle
Makha Tae wood handles and leather upholstery
P Tendercool knows tables. Every piece is handmade in-house; no two tables are alike, and P Tendercool knows them all by name. PTppt is a dining-cum-ping-pong table fashioned from reclaimed Teng wood. The tabletop features hand-inlaid marquetery lines and borders, while its base was hand-casted by P Tendercool’s bronze-master Armando; the 1950s net-holders were custom-casted to match. For chairs, two moulded wooden seats were wrapped in hand-stitched leather and set atop hand-casted brass legs. Each chair-back is tattooed – guns, ink and all – with a unique design.
Siwilai, first Thai concept-store with an international impact, perfectly matches the core spirit of the Cabinet and is the perfect place to host several events in their in-store restaurant and coffee bar Rocket Siwilai.
If you are in Bangkok, don’t miss the following:
Masterclass with OGREone on November 28, 2014 at 2pm.
Chef Masterclass: Chef Bertrand Grébaut (Michelin Star) on November 30, 2014 at 2pm.
Party hosted by Jim Thompson and his collar partner Ogre on December 3rd, 2014 at 6.30pm.
Chef Masterclass: Chef Ana Ros on December 7, 2014 at 2pm.
Chef Masterclass: Chef Virginie Laval on December 14, 2014 at 2pm.
Party hosted by Vickteerut on December 17, 2014 at 6.30pm.
Stay tuned for the outfit post coming up soon!
Photos: Courtesy of CDCTE2014 and © Sandra Bauknecht