A year after stealing the hearts of netizens with a famous photo of her skirt train trailing down a staircase in the country, Madeow has left behind her rural life in Isaan to come to Bangkok, where she is quickly finding success as a young designer.
Now 17, the internet sensation that humbly gave herself the nickname “upcountry gatoey model,” has been featured as a guest designer on Asia’s Next Top Model. On the popular modeling show, Apichet "Madeow" Atirattana wowed the audience with upcountry-inspired designs like those that made her famous — costumes made of things found near her Isaan home such as chicken coops, banana leaves, and hay.
Madeow’s rise to fame started when she shared photos of herself modeling her humble but exquisite creations online. Soon, netizens were spellbound by Madeow. They loved that she had the daring spirit and the imagination to create these looks from the simplest household objects and pull them off with grace.
Asked what qualities she believed made her successful at such a young age, she said, “My creativity and guts to do something people don’t do. My creativity is not made up or distorted. It’s spontaneous and real.”
She explained how her earliest outfits were created by saying, “At that point, whatever I could find, I had to make it work because I came from nothing. I’m a kateoy. I wanted to play modeling, but I didn’t have beautiful dresses, so I put together stuff around my house and wore it.”
In those days, when she wasn’t modeling her fabulous designs on the internet, Madeow, who lived near a mountain in the Ban Fang district of Khon Kaen, said she would help her parents sell vegetables at the market.
She was lucky enough to grow up in a loving home where she came out at a very young age. Madeow recalled that her father bought her a doll to play with when she was just a child.
“My dad was the person who bought me a Barbie when I was in kindergarten. Then I would ask other people for scraps of fabric to make clothes for my doll,” Madeow said.
Many people wonder what space cake Madeow has been eating to come up with her out-of-this-world outfits? The teen designer responded that she never really put too much thought into it, but she has a habit of writing down ideas immediately so that she doesn’t forget them. She has created over 30 outfits that went viral when photos of them were shared online.
“It takes about 10-20 minutes [to make an outfit]. I had to see what I had at home because I could not afford to buy anything,” she said.
“Fashion can be anything: the past, present or future. It’s anything that you wear and you feel comfortable in. People might not get it, but it’s your fashion. You are different,” Madeow added.
At this point in the interview, I asked Madeow to think of an outfit made of Coconuts. She immediately responded with a beach dress idea.
“I would dry the coconut shells and weave them so it becomes fabric. It could be a beach outfit… Hawaiian style.”
After her success on Asia’s Next Top Model, where she designed outfits for nine contestants, Madeow is preparing to launch her own clothing line “Koma” — a collaboration with celebrity designer Kongpat “Ong” Sidapithak.
While no details could be revealed yet, don’t expect chicken coop-inspired outfits. Madeow said the clothes will be casual street wear that anyone can easily mix-and-match. Koma is likely to be sold online.
Asked what would be her next step, the aspiring designer said that she’d like to keep on doing what she loves — designing clothes. She has also been given a scholarship to study fashion at Bangkok University.
Carrie Forbes — she of the Nineties crocheted bags of the same name — has made her return to the market, this time with shoes.
The Orange County, Calif.-based designer has rejigged her brand, focusing it on raffia sandals and leather babouche slippers, all handmade in Morocco.
In the Nineties, her crocheted bags were stocked at leading department stores including Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. She closed the business in 1998 to move to Italy for consulting work and in 2013 returned to the U.S. to begin work on a new shoe offering.
The streamlined footwear exhibits its handicraft with a personal touch — no two shoesare exactly the same, and their slight variances provide something of a visual connection to their makers.
For Forbes, product is prioritized over hype, branding and marketing efforts. Her lack of attention to buzz machines like Instagram have afforded her a unique versatility in the market since her label’s wares are up for social interpretation.
They have struck a chord across a spectrum of niche consumers: Vacation shoppers at Four Seasons Resort shops, luxury hounds at Moda Operandi, as well as style-conscious hipsters who have styled her shoes in campaigns for labels including Staud and Reformation.
“I’ve always been product driven — it’s good and bad. I care about product more than anything else, but need some help with branding. We’ve done a lot with very little [social media], we do Instagram and all that but don’t do enough — it’s my limitation and my strength,” said Forbes of the catch-22 of today’s rapid media machine.
The shoes retail from $86 to $350 due to U.S./Morocco trade agreements. “The production prices are very low but also importing from Morocco to the U.S. is zero duty. If I was importing from China the duty is 30 percent,” Forbes said.
The designer travels to the African nation frequently but says the working environment there for Western designers requires patience and French fluency. “Not many people [produce there] because it’s not easy. Without speaking French there is no way to get into the right sources. It’s a very different country to work in — I’ve put in my time and been patient, and it’s starting to work out. It’s been a journey.”
Forbes’ sales in the first five months of 2016 eclipsed her full 2015 fiscal year’s sales by 300 percent.
She said she will expand the brand beyond shoes in the coming seasons. She’s presently looking to introduce a clutch that utilizes traditional Moroccan la fabre stitching. Caftans are also of interest for the future.Read more at:formal dresses online australia | cocktail dresses australia
Playing a cancer-stricken mother in Chris Kelly’s semiautobiographical “Other People” is one of four new roles that Molly Shannon has committed to.
A self-described “dramatic comedian,” in recent years Shannon has distanced herself from her “Saturday Night Live” days with more sobering roles. This fall, Shannon will headline the new HBO show “Divorce” with Sarah Jessica Parker and Thomas Haden Church. Another one of her flicks, “Miles,” will be shown at Outfest LA on July 17. In addition to a minor role in “The Layover,” with William H. Macy, Shannon just started shooting Julie Rudd’s “Fun Mom Dinner,” with Toni Collette, in Los Angeles.
On Nantucket for last weekend’s film festival there, Shannon ran through her latest projects and how her own personal losses filter through. She is also toying with an idea for a second children’s book, with her author friend Sean Wilsey and her 11-year-old daughter, Stella. A Los Angeles transplant for nine years running, Shannon is still pining for New York and hasn’t ruled out a summer return to Broadway.
Transforming herself into a terminally ill woman for “Other People,” Shannon said she asked Kelly a lot of questions about his mother, got to know his mother’s best friend and drew from her own life — including losing “a really close Mom friend to cancer. My Dad died of cancer, and my Mom died when I was really little, so I pull from my own life and [having to deal] with death. And as a mother, I pull from myself, too, so it’s all sort of mixed together.” (Shannon lost her own mother, younger sister and cousin in a fatal car accident that she was involved in at the age of four.)
The recent spate of family-related roles seems to be happenstance more than anything. “I feel like I have experience with death — well, who hasn’t? But I feel that sometimes you can attract roles wherever you are in your life,” she said.
Wearing a neon-pink sleeveless dress she biked to Lilly Pulitzer to buy earlier in the day, Shannon said she doesn’t work with any designers but would certainly like to. Asked whether the public’s obsession with red-carpet attire deters too much from the actual acting, she said, “It’s really not my world. But it’s not good if people feel like they can’t make a mistake or something. Then it takes away all the fun. In the same way, I never like it when comedy gets too cool, if it’s, like, all cool people. The whole reason I got into comedy was because I felt like an outsider. I never like it when it gets too cool for school.”
She continued, “The reason I got into it was because I felt outside the cool group. I think fashion should be the same way. There should be mistakes made. You should embrace the mistakes or the flaws. I do admire people who don’t care and who kind of do their own thing. It is also fun and like a business, and we all enjoy looking at it. But I don’t like it when it gets too mean or snarky, because that’s not how I see women. I think I am more accepting and [interested in] enjoying people. It’s about feeling good about yourself.”
Explaining why she felt like an outsider, Shannon said, “I stuttered a lot in my childhood, so I had a hard time. I think I always felt that things that maybe came easier to other people, I really struggled to catch up to be normal. Losing my Mom when I was little was really hard. Some things that people were just handed or took for granted, I really had a harder time. So I always felt a little different than some kids who had it a little easier. But also some of those things can be a gift in life because they give you an appreciation for things that people might take for granted.”
A heavy work schedule eventually gives way to “lots of time off,” mostly for hanging out with her kids and their friends, taking pictures, seeing movies and going swimming. Her husband, Fritz Chesnut, is an artist who makes poured-acrylic works on canvas that explore cosmic phenomena, geological formations and topographical issues. “He is so visually oriented. For me, photography is more of a Mom hobby. I make iPhoto books, but I am really into it. I go to Apple a lot, and they teach me. The courses they offer at Apple are amazing,” she said. “You know how they have those people who can teach you things on the computer? I’m always at Apple. I do that when my kids are in school. It’s like a university. You could learn how to edit a movie at Apple. Those guys are unbelievable.”
Shannon still has her West Village apartment — nine years after exiting the city. She said of New York, “I miss it a lot. I love it. I actually love when I get to go back there. It’s such an exciting city. I miss the restaurants, the people, the pace, Brooklyn. I love the High Line park. It feels like it’s always changing. If you haven’t been there for two years, a whole block can completely change. It’s like seeing a child who has grown. You’ve gotten so big all of a sudden. It’s always changing and growing. I went to NYU, so my heart’s really in New York. I just love it.”Read more at:one shoulder formal dresses