Thakoon Panichgul went for a very tongue-in-cheek mash-up for spring. After serving up Versailles by way of a Kenyan tribal plaid for Fall ’11, Thakoon delivered a skewed version of ‘Cowboys and Indians’. But this is not the C&I favored by little boys – this is the Baz Luhrman or Julie Taymor way of playing with narrative. This was Mumbai comes to Tombstone, a Spaghetti-Bollywood musical. So, fun clothes for the audacious type in other words.
The collection was teeming with color, mixed-media and quirky embroideries. It was a constant exercise in toying with a symbiosis of theme and country. A cobalt cowboy shirt with an embellished collar and planket was paired with an Indian floral-printed pair of saffron cigarette pants. That same floral print would be featured later, inversely, on a gold lame collared cowboy shirt. That gold lame was Thakoon’s driving accent, coming inserted in everything from the cigarette pants, mixed-media dresses in ocher paisleys and in flouncy low-cut corolla skirts, those corollas looking especially fresh when worn with a lace macrime appliqued blue tee.
He made his most traditional wink at India with the final gowns and full skirts with cropped tops draped over with sheer saris. Still unclear where those powdered wigs fit in Thakoon’s multicultural story, but this early in the season, where so many designer have already been playing it safe, it was the kind of fun and excessive device the New York season’s been needing.