Wearing the Pants: Four Women from Around the World Have New Ideas for Menswear


Photography by Benjamin Haselberger.

DESIGNER: Siriorn Teankaprasith
BRAND: Painkiller
LOCATION: Bangkok

Dress-like caftans and short shorts can be a hard sell for guys, but Siriorn Teankaprasith is committed to getting men to embrace draping and skin-showing. “Real men wear whatever they want to wear,” says the Bangkok-based Teankaprasith. “Some guys worry that androgynous clothing makes them gay or something, but it’s your personality that matters. And I find androgynous guys to be quite attractive, anyway.” Perhaps seeking softer Parisian palettes, Teankaprasith hopped on a plane to design school in France at 17, spending eight years there, studying menswear and interning in master tailor Pierre-Henri Mattout’s workshop. “I had always felt like a little bird in cage when I was stuck in Thailand,” she says. “In Paris, it’s so old school and you work so hard. When I was interning, I even had to cook for the studio. But I loved it. It was an education.”

Teankaprasith was disappointed to leave Paris after studying, nervous about whether her big ideas about menswear would fly back home in Thailand. And she had reason: the menswear label she started when she got home failed quickly. Teankaprasith felt let down by her country’s sense of style, imagining that her clothes would have done better in fashion capitals like New York and Paris. “I just don’t think Thailand was ready,” says Teankaprasith. “Big, baggy sportswear was really popular in Asia at the time, everything was so relaxed.” Restless, she returned to Paris in 2005 to get a master’s degree in men’s fashion before heading back to Bangkok in 2009. Since then, she’s noticed more and more dapper gentlemen replacing their track pants with proper trousers. Re-energized by all of the tidying up, Teankaprasith opened Painkiller, a small store filled with her own designs of upper crust crisp blazers and crinkly linen vests made for, as she says, “artsy gentlemen.” The store is stocked with basics from the pre-casual age, like straw fedoras that would make Ernest Hemingway proud and pants cuffed to Capri-like lengths. Even Painkiller’s T-shirts feel hearty and thick—tees you’d want to tuck in, not leave flailing. “Guys here finally, finally want to dress up,” she says. “Sometimes a guy will come into my shop and tell me everything is weird. But he’ll come back another day, much later, and buy something. They are taking a second look. They want to dress proud.”

Painkiller’s fall collection especially evokes those beautiful feelings of self-respect. The sky blues and regal soft silks are inspired by a Persian story about a prince who was so powerful he could fly. “I just kept imagining him flying wherever he wanted. I realized that if you want something done you have to do it yourself,” says Teankaprasith. “Men’s high fashion is not in our culture. Thai tailors couldn’t and wouldn’t make these clothes. So we just had to make everything ourselves.” Something she hasn’t made yet are coats, which are non-existent even in her fall collection. Teankaprasith attributes that to Thailand’s sweltering weather, but at some point, even that won’t stop her. “I’m working on it,” she says. “I’d like people in Paris and New York to be able to buy these clothes, too.” Sewing everything in house has kept Teankaprasith adaptable and on her toes. Painkiller’s harem pants, constellation-print smocks and feathery cravats are made-to-order, so she’s learned how to dress guys of every size and shape. “My brothers, they aren’t so skinny. They’re huge,” she says. “But I still want to make clothes for them. We may have a so-so physique, but if we wear beautiful clothes and have a great style, we are beautiful.”

—ALEX FRANK

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POSTED August 9, 2011 9:20AM IN FEATURES, STYLE, STYLE NEWS Comments (5) TAGS: , , , , , , ,

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  1. Pingback: [NEWS] Frank Ocean x The Rapture Cover Fader Magazine « 1Mic1Life.com

  2. Maria says:

    I MISS VALENTINO. AND THE DAYS OF MASTERS. BEFORE TWITTER, B4 MEME RAP. WHEN GOWNS ROAMED THE RICH PEOPLE EARTH..AND THE MUSIC..
    NOT OUT OF NOSTALGIA, BUT AN APPRECIATION OF GREATNESS. WE CAN’T LOOK AT THOSE DAYS THROUGH A POST-MODERN LENS. VALENTINO WAS A MASTER DESIGNER. AND HIS DEPTH WILL NEVER BE MATCHED. EVERY SEQUIN HAD PURPOSE. AND THERE WERE MANY…
    BUT SUPPORTING THESE YOUNG GIRLS DOIN THEY’RE THING..

  3. Pingback: Wearing the Pants: The Fader Highlights Women Making a Splash in Menswear | news4men.net

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