Thakoon Panichgul on Street Style, Wardrobe Essentials & Adopting a Uniform

It’s been nearly a decade since Thai/American designer Thakoon Panichgul quit his job as an editor at Harper’s Bazaar and launched his namesake collection of feminine, boundary-pushing clothing. Now, after more than a few seasons of glowing reviews—Vogue called his most recent show “disarmingly gorgeous”—we grabbed the designer for a quick Q&A, starting with the scoop on his fall collection.


Tell us about the inspiration behind Fall 2013.
This collection was about looking at what makes great classics, and twisting them into new ideas with witty and feminine takes.

Thakoon Animal-Print Shearling CoatThakoon Dragonfly DressThakoon Black Lace Sweater

Thakoon Animal-Print Coat | Thakoon Leather-Back Dragonfly Dress | Thakoon Floral-Print Lace Dress

Describe the woman who wears your clothes.
She’s feminine, sophisticated and bold. She loves fashion, but wants it to work with her busy lifestyle.

What inspired you to work in this industry?
I love the dialogue between fashion and culture. I also love when I see a beautiful woman wearing something new and unexpected—all of a sudden it changes your perception. That’s the beauty of fashion, those moments.

What does the future of your brand look like?
We’ve grown steadily and organically, gaining loyal customers season after season. It’s a solid ground that we’ve been building, and for me it’s about that kind of growth. We have accessories on the horizon as well.

Photo by The Sartorialist

Do you pay attention to street style?
I pick and choose what I see and like. You can’t look at it too much because your job is to propose something new. But then again, when you see something that looks fresh, you take note.

If you weren’t a fashion designer, what would you be?
A musician, definitely.

What’s your all-time favorite band?
That’s difficult. I think the Eagles and Coldplay are certainly up there.

How about your favorite book?
A Confederacy of Dunces.

What’s the last great movie you saw?
Blue Jasmine with Cate Blanchett. She’s so phenomenal in it, and I’m such a fan of Woody Allen.

If you could travel anywhere tomorrow, where would it be?
To the beach in Thailand.

Thakoon Printed Dress | Thakoon Sequin/Lace Sweater | Thakoon Knit Fair-Isle Dress

Do you have any advice for a young woman trying to cultivate her personal style?
You should always have a uniform of sorts. I hate when I see someone dressed girly one day, and edgy the next day. That’s playing dress-up. If you know your personality, what you like to wear and how you want to look, just stick with that look and silhouette, and in the long run, you’ll have a distinct style.

Name three wardrobe essentials every woman should own.
A great cocktail dress, a classic men’s shirt and a great pair of pants.

Who’s your design hero?
Elsa Schiaparelli.

If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?
Salvador Dali. I’d love to hear his perspective on the world and what he sees.

Thakoon Panichgul backstage, Fall 2013

Photo by Fernando Colon

What’s the one thing you always have to do before any show?
Drink water!

Please share a little-known fact about yourself.
I love leftovers.

Describe your morning getting-ready routine.
Two cups of coffee, a quick shower, and lots of moisturizer—that’s it.

Mary O’Regan

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