Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Art Institute of Vancouver - Jamaree Eiammanassakul


Atelier 2015The Art Institute of Vancouver's fashion design showcase - was held onsite this year at their Vancouver campus located at 2665 Renfrew Street. The new location offered so many advantages. There was a snaking runway that wound through the atrium flanked by a single row of chairs offering only front row seats. Then there were tasty bites to tempt us created by their culinary students. Divine! The evening also featured short films created by the school's marketing and film students.  All in all a great evening.

Two of the designers offering collections this evening had recently showcased on the runway at New York Fashion Week. They offered us larger six look collections which allowed everyone to get a deeper feel for their design aesthetic. One of these designers was Jamaree Eiammanassakul.

I truly enjoyed Eiammanassakul's collection.  Each look offered clean lines, a basic palette, great proportions and excellent tailoring.  There is no doubt in my mind that the future is promising for this young talent. Below is a Q&A offering a behind the scenes chat with this up and coming designer that will offer some insight into her journey and this wonderful collection titled Minimalism meets Thai Spice.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Where were you born, where did you grow up?

I was born and grew up in Thailand. I earned a bachelor degree in Interior Architecture from School of Architecture and Design (International program) in Thailand. I had worked as interior designer and held different jobs for a while before I decided to come to Vancouver.

What you like when you were young? 

I was an artsy girl. I liked drawing, painting, making stuffs also needle works. 

What were your interests in High School?

I was so sure I wanted to be an interior designer. I wanted to design beautiful space for people so I joined interior club at high school and loved it. 

Looking back, can you remember any signs that you would end up in fashion?  A personal story would be great here.

I like dressing up - sort of "mix and not match" for some people - but I think it was okay, I enjoyed it. A lot of times, I would buy things that I liked and combine, alter, and/or decorate with other pieces to make "my own" pieces. My mom taught me how to use her home machine and eventually I took sewing class and basic dress making in Thailand. I started sewing things for myself, especially maxi skirts and dresses also bags which some of my friends asked me to make them custom bags. 

Images by Cyrus Wu
Talk about when and how you decided to study fashion design.  Was you family supportive?

I like designing not only interior space or clothes, but everything. For me fashion is more controllable compare to an interior space that you have to work with many parties to create the real thing. I was working as interior designer and I did like it, but I felt I did not like every part of it. For example, I love selecting material, fabric and textile for upholstery, wall paper, tile, color and such since I worked a lot in the material room. I also liked selecting furniture to match with design mood and theme. I could do construction drawing and 3d rendering, but I did not enjoy it that much. Fashion was something I had never tried at that time. My family supported me in pursing what I love to do because they know I will do my best even though it might be tough.

Why did you choose to study at The Art Institute of Vancouver?

I did a lot of research online and I met with people from Art Institute of Vancouver at International Education Fair in Thailand and I was interested. I am glad I came here. My instructors are awesome.

Talk about your time studying Fashion Design.  What was hard for you, what was easy for you, are they any high, low or funny moments you can share?

I had been in design school before so I was kind of prepared. There were still a bunch of things that were new to me and it took me a while to be comfortable with them. In design school I knew that I had to deal with a lot of stresses like time management, quality of work, unforeseen problem solving, etc. Fashion Design requires both physical and mental skills. You have to be creative and at the same time think about reality - how to make it happen. You actually have to create what you have designed.  In my opinion, there is no such thing that is hard or easy, I always find things challenging. It depends on how you look at it and how hard you push yourself. If you want to be good at it, you have to practice and put effort into it until you get used to and can do it better and faster.

My favorite part is designing, when I can let my imagination go as far as it can. There were frustrating situations when the time was coming and I still had problems with my projects. Most of the time, they were fabric issues which became problematic and I had little time to think about what was the best way to deal with it. When you are stressed out, it is hard to think straight or productively.

What was the inspiration for your grad collection? Share anything you'd like readers to know?

As an interior designer, I am always drawn to architecture. I took a lot of architecture pictures when I was in Thailand and am still snapping them over here. The concept was inspired by modern Thai Architecture. Because of the tropical weather in Thailand, architecture elements directly relate to ventilation flow. Layered and angular roof top, details of mosaic work from temples, geometric shapes and lines have been transformed into fabric manipulation like pleating, piping, smocking, french knots, and contrasts. Putting lots of details into the design and yet at the same time keeping a minimal look was very challenging.
Describe your collection – customer, day-evening-sportswear-separates-casual-highend glamour-stage costuming-punk?

My collection  is called Minimalism meets Thai Spice. It is casual business wear for sophisticated women who are independent and smart. My target market is high ended customers. Details requiring well-thought out and thorough design, drafting patterns that create a flattering and minimal look, quality sewing including hand skills as well as the use of quality materials brought my collection up to a high price point.

What is the palette?  What fabrics did you use?

I pictured my customer as a working woman. She looks feminine, but strong. Therefore I selected a combination of silk crepe de chine and wool. The white, grey, and navy colour palette represented timeless chic and is easy to mix and match. Minimal style with rich details will accent her stylish character.

Do you have a favourite look?

I love every look in my collection. The white uneven pleated dress with navy cuffs and collar is the one I have gotten the most compliments on so far.

What do you think you can bring to the fashion world that is new?

For me, I did not create any new techniques, but I think I incorporated unusual placement. For example, the white sleeveless blouse in my collection had a honeycomb pleated placket but I made it in bigger pattern and only single roll. Plus I put buttons in between each space so it had a new look. I also got compliments about my pleating that was placed at the back hems of the pants.

Where do you go from here?

I feel like I am a beginner so I want to work for a design company will that boost my passion, some where that I can learn and experience the industry outside school. My dream is to have my own studio.

Please share quote on what fashion design means to you.

I do not have favorite quote, but from my aesthetic so far - "minimal is not simple".  You can tell how plain "simple" looks compare to "minimal" which is well-designed. It requires a lot of thoughts to make minimal look "that simple".

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To see more of Eiammanassakul's work or to contact this designer, please visit her website at : www.j-amaree.com.

For more information on the Fashion Design program at the Art Institute of Vancouver go to

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