A great way to reward customer loyalty - even in a recession
The Wine Gallery’s annual fancy dress ‘Thank You’ party
Burasin Larpadisorn, Managing Director of Wine
strikes a pose with the team from the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi.
Nearly 300 people were invited to the Wine Gallery’s annual ‘Thank
You’ party, held this year on the immaculate lawns of the Mandarin Oriental
Dhara Devi Hotel, with a large number happily taking up the challenge of
wearing fancy dress, as requested by the organisers.
Village come dressed in style.
The costumes had a definitively international flavour, with Arab costumes
mixing with traditional Thai dress, Scots kilts, Egyptian robes, hill tribe
costumes and even 17th century European landed gentry garb!
The heavenly realms were represented by angels, all in white, of course,
worn by the host hotel’s staff; Le Crystal’s staff came as black angels,
presumably from the realms of the other place! The staff of The House were
responsible for the Scots presence - and, again, as on Burns’ Night at
Tuskers, no-one was able to intrude under their kilts long enough to provide
an answer to the obvious question!
Perhaps the most original costume was worn by Wine Gallery’s MD, Burisan
Larpadisorn, who welcomed the guests as they arrived dressed as a very old,
very poor Thai lady. After that surprise welcome, the multiple wines and
hors d’ouvres on offer proved very popular.
All guests were invited to enter one of two fancy dress contests; one for
singles and duos, the other, especially for the hotel and restaurant staff,
for groups. The singles/duos contest was won by the Mandarin Oriental’s chef
and his wife, in their traditional hill tribe costumes. Eight hotels and
restaurants took part in the group contest – the undisputed winners were the
guys from the Rachamankha Hotel, who had arrived in all their S &M leather,
studs and black plastic glory.
Everyone agreed it was a great party, and although it’s far too early in the
year to be ‘the party of 2009’ – it certainly set the standard!
Congratulations to Burasin Larpadisorn for all her hard work!
The Egyptians invade Thailand, without their
The beautiful Marie Antoinette (MC for the
evening) meets with the Devil.
Two of a great many Black and White Angels who
out in force to entice the guests - would you go to the dark side?
Neighbours chose Purple and scooped the Oasis
The little Swiss boy with friends.
United Nations and beyond at the Mandarin
Shannon Morrow gets into S & M with the guys
from the Rachamankha Hotel.
A visit to Mae Chem’s Teen Chok festival
Teen Chok on parade at the Mae Chem annual
Whilst the Chiang Mai Flower Festival weekend was in full swing
on February 6-8, Mae Chem, a town over the mountains to the south west,
was holding its annual Teen Chok festival.
A group of eight textile enthusiasts, led by Susan Stem, travelled by
minibus through Doi Inthanon National Park and over a steep and winding
mountain road to be there. It’s a journey of 140km, taking approximately
two and a half hours. The group was rewarded by being in time for the
parade, in which oven textiles rather than flowers were being celebrated
by the people of Mae Chem.
The local Tai Yuan weavers are famous for their cloths, particularly the
intricate Teen Chok hem bands, woven in a discontinuous supplementary
weft. These textiles were prominently displayed in the parade - on the
elaborate skirts, decorating floats, and as a design pattern on various
beautiful example of a woven hem band.
The Hmong, Lawa and Karen communities who live in the mountainous region
were well represented in the parade, all showing their costumes with
pride. Even the humble baskets that Karen men and women use to carry
goods up and down the mountains were featured.
Cotton is grown in the region and is the main fibre for women’s
clothing, spun in a variety of thicknesses and dyed. The decorative hem
band called a teen is approximately 30cms wide and woven by women. The
hem band is worked on the reverse side by the weaver, and each thread of
the discontinuous supplementary weft is picked out with the aid of a
porcupine quill - a very time consuming and intricate craft.
The weaver chooses from a wide spectrum of coloured cotton yarn,
sometimes using silk if available. Red, indigo, greens and gold are
popular hues. The design is geometric, but occasionally motifs such as
birds can be discerned. Once the hem band is complete, it is sewn to the
central panel, (sin) of the phasin (tubular skirt). The phasin is the
largest section, with two smaller panels making up the waistband (hua);
one a deep red /brown and another of un-dyed cotton and distinguishable
from the hem band. Traditionally, these sections would be hand sewn
together but many of the phasins observed were woven as a piece in plain
weave. The stripes are arranged in the warp in various widths - some
with interesting plied yarns known locally as da moo. The phasin is then
folded into a pleat or gathered at the waist and worn ankle length. The
hem band and the striped panels are horizontal on the skirt.
A few of the group had visited Sbun Nga Textile Museum in Chiang Mai
with the Expats Textile Arts Group the previous week to gain some idea
what to look for. Several fine examples - many using silk as well as
cotton are on display. They learned from verbal communication with the
curator that the fine historic examples exhibited were reserved by women
for special occasions. Also, that it was customary for women to choose a
favourite example to wear for their own funeral (the textile is not
cremated with the deceased.) This museum experience showed what could be
witnessed in Mae Chem - an appreciation by the whole community of the
time and value of workmanship in the woven product.
Nussara Tiengkate of Mae Chem and Chiang Mai, a local weaver and textile
instructor met us in the market area and directed us to the textile
exhibition and demonstration area. There was a wonderful atmosphere
reminiscent of a country fair. Visitors were able to examine the teen
chok examples which had been juried; to meet local craftspeople who were
demonstrating their wares, and to purchase examples.
Nussara then took our group for lunch at her delightful Lanna home and
showed us her weaving workshop space and textile store. One of Nussara’s
important contributions is to teach young people how to weave and to
keep the tradition of the weaving culture alive in the community. She
runs classes at some schools in the area and at her home near Mae Chem.
This completed a very informative and interesting day, including a
scenic ride through Doi Inthanon National Park and a chance to stretch
our legs at one of the waterfalls on the return journey.
Chiangmai Textile Group – informal events scheduled
approximately each month, usually on weekends. For details: Studio
Naenna City Showroom (Patricia Cheesman or Ms. Lamorna). 22 Soi 1,
Nimmanhaemin Road.: Tel: 053 895 136. E-mail:emailus1 @studio-naenna.com
Expats Textile Arts Group – meet first Friday of each month at Raintree
Contact Janet Greenleaf: E-mail:[email protected]
Nussara – Shop in Charoen Rat. Chiang Mai. Tel: 053 302072, E-mail:
[email protected] hotmail.com.
Thai Textiles, Susan Conway, River Books, Thailand. 2001.