Thailand’s annual silk fair in Bangkok helps with ‘soft power’ scheme

Thai silk, photo by Amazing Thailand.

The word ‘soft power’ has exploded into Thailand’s lexicon ever since young rapper ‘Milli’ promoted the country’s signature sticky rice and mango dish last month. In its soft power scheme, Thai authorities aim to promote the ‘5 Fs’ to the rest of the world. The 5 Fs are: food, films, fashion, fighting, and festivals.

Now, Thai authorities say they will continue promoting the country’s world renowned silk as a part of the soft power scheme. Last night, silk collections designed by over 200 fashion students from universities and colleges around the country were displayed at the annual Thai silk fair. The fair was held at the Royal Thai Navy Convention Hall, near Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River.

The fair featured a fashion show in which the permanent secretaries dressed in clothes from the collections, and cat-walked on a runway. Diplomats, as well as professional, amateur and guest models also presented new collections in another show at the fair.

Thailand’s Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome said the fair, held annually, attracts young Thais interested in traditional fabrics, and encourages them to combine traditional silk with modern fashion.

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“This could become a new area of Thailand soft power.”

Itthiphol said a total of 227 designs have now been submitted to the third Big Silk Designer Contest. Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said the government appreciated the cooperation of embassies and consulates in promoting Thai silk, which included using Thai silk in their own national costumes.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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