Fashion has always relied on illusion. Whether it’s a slight shimmer that catches the eye or simple tailoring that alters the form, designers have toyed throughout history to find whatever trick they can to expand design possibilities – even if it means a little deception. For Thailand-based brand Vinn Patararin, this experimentation comes in the form of technological development.
Its designers utilise a complex system of 3D models to create the dynamic dot patterns seen lining the brand’s pieces. Every edge is finely and precisely cut with lasers, imparting onto the clothing a feeling of otherworldliness, and yet, in some magical way, familiarity. The main design team comprises two figures, who also double as the label’s namesake: Vinn Chokkhatiwat, a multidisciplinary architect and designer, and Patararin Pongprasit, an artist and a designer.
While the duo has trained in locations spanning the globe, they have settled back in Thailand to expand on their designs and release their collection. Their most recent collection, ILLUSIONIST, plays on the aforementioned theme of illusion. Here, Schön! speaks to the team about this collection, their influences, and how their brand merges traditional dress with contemporary technology.
How did you two meet, and when did you decide to work together?
We were design students in Paris. We shared the same group of friends, then we decided to collaborate for a design competition. That was the beginning of everything.
You talk about blending high-tech techniques with low-tech production. How do you incorporate technology into your work?
We believe in craftsmanship, and we also consider working with 3D modelling, coding and technology as digital crafts. So we start by using technology to help us do the design and experimentation… [but] handcraft always becomes the end of the process to make each piece unique and make the value of it.
“Illusion” is a big theme across this collection. Describe what that means as it relates to these pieces.
Illusions are caused by what the eyes see and what the brain interprets, using imagination as a tool to support its interpretation. We can say illusion works as another term for imagination. This year, Vinn Patararin would like to connect you to the world of illusion. The process of making an illusion becomes our imagination. Dots and lines crossing around the picture, making it distorted. The layering glitches, and it’s the shadow’s reaction that makes us see the picture differently.
The silhouettes of these pieces come from the explosion of patterns that came in the 1830s, when people started talking about illusions and women’s clothes were exaggerated at some parts to show their social status and so on. The main material is tulle to create the effect of multiple layers and colour. We create the texture by laser cutting dynamic dot lines on every layer.
Vinn – you have a background in not only fashion but also sociology, technology and architecture. How do ideas from that background find their way into Vinn Patararin designs?
I developed my profession from architecture school and a master’s degree in design and contemporary technology. My school led me to question culture, philosophy and society from the beginning of [the] design process. I don’t see design in categories, so I use my thinking process to develop design. I started the concept and then experimented by using technology, later developing the designs from human scale to bigger scales, like installation and architecture.
Patararin – your background mentions an interest in relating identity, culture and lifestyle. One of the ways you do this is engaging with fashion from across generations, including both modern pieces and traditional costumes. When did this interest begin, and how do you see these themes in Vinn Patararin?
I grew up in Thailand, which has a rich culture. Also, living in Bangkok – it is a melting pot of culture where all Asian cultures, religions and also modern Western culture blends together. I’ve found it very interesting since I was young. I always explore the city and I love to see how people dress up. Later, when I was in fashion school, I found my design engaged a lot with traditional costume and got inspired by many lifestyles and cultures. That is reflected in Vinn Patararin designs.
You’re both based in Thailand but have been trained all over the world. Do you feel that being in Thailand influences your design?
Of course. We are inspired a lot by Thai architecture such as temples, wall paintings, mirror mosaics, etc. I love the patterns and lines, that elegance. Moreover, Thai fabric is very beautiful. They have various techniques such as weaving, dying and painting that we can develop from traditional processes to make it contemporary.
What does the future have in store for Vinn Patararin?
We mostly sell in Bangkok and we plan to sell more in concept stores in many countries. Also, you can follow us and buy online via our Instagram.
photography. Arpa Poonsriratt
fashion. Vinn Chokkhatiwat
model. Paulina Cizikaite
make up. Kachapond Phrangam
fashion assistants. Som Chutimon, Lealanee Parntapalin, Chartchai Chaiydet + Pornchanok Rittikong
words. Braden Bjella