Pulling an All-Nighter to Open Tawn’s Boutique (Updated)

Updates below. In about an hour, Tawn and I will drive to Central Chidlom, one of the most prestigious department stores in Thailand. We will arrive just as the store is closing for the night and in less than eight hours, with the help of a contractor and his crew, will install his first boutique. The previous occupant of the space will be moved out and their decorations demolished in less than two hours.

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The remainder of the night will be spent installing the decorative items, shelves, display cases, lighting fixtures, and all the other pieces needed to create the retail space and project the Tawn C brand image. Our friend Ble, a well-known interior designer here in Bangkok (he also designed our condo’s remodel) did the shop design and will arrive at 6:00 am to help with the final styling before the 10:00 am opening.

It will be a long night, but it is exciting to see two years of hard work finally turn into something real. Now, let’s hope we can turn it into something profitable, too!

Update – 5:20 am

Am back at home for a little bit after a night at the department store. Some moving people are supposed to show up in ten minutes to pick up some chairs from our living room. The chairs will be used in the store until the correct chairs that our designer ordered, arrive.

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The deinstall of the previous tenant’s decorations ran late because of some stone tiles adhered to one wall. We insisted that they needed to be removed because the dimensions of our cabinetwork would not allow for that extra two centimeters of thickness on the wall. By 12:30, our workers started carrying cabinetwork into the space and assembling it.

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After taking pictures of the crew installing the paneling on the front column, it occurred to me that it was facing the wrong way: it should be turned 90 degrees clockwise so the short panel that is visible in this shot faces the left of the picture. Tawn brought this to the workers’ attention and they eventually moved it. Then they discovered that due to incorrect measurements, the front riser on which mannequins will stand is five centimeters too long and intrudes into the aisle.

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The workers focused first on installing the rear cabinetwork and, once complete, turned their attention to resizing the riser. The mirrored borders were installed last and the worker was polishing them and peeling off the protective layer of plastic on the laminate.

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Just before leaving the store – about 4:30 am at that point – the workers had disassembled the riser and were manually cutting it (and the metallic edging) to size with a hacksaw. Tawn warned them that the quality of work had to be perfect. We’ll see how that turns out!

After the movers take the chairs, I’ll drive back to the store with some items that the designer and Tawn can use to dress the store. What time do the coffee shops open?

 

Covering Tawn

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It’s immodest to brag, but I just had to share this with you because I’m so proud. This is the cover of the February issue of Travel + Liesure magazine’s Southeast Asia edition. It features one of Tawn’s outfits and was taken at the Naka Island resort in Phuket during a December photo shoot for which Tawn was the stylist.  I think it is beautiful.

Hopefully, within about two more weeks he’ll be ready to launch his brand and I can share the website and more photos with you. Tawn leaves this evening for another shoot in Phuket, this one for five nights.

 

Tawn C – First Collection Photo Shoot

At one point in time, mine was the exciting life filled with ever-changing adventures and Tawn was the one who went to the office every day, living a life of nine to five drudgery.  Nowadays, as he is moving towards his dream of being a fashion designer, his life is the eventful one and I’m fading to a quiet support role.  The latest big event was a photo shoot of the first collection on his own label, Tawn C, to create a “look book.”

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As I understand it, a look book doesn’t necessarily have to display every outfit in the collection.  Instead, it is meant to convey the overall feel of the collection, to tell the “story” of the woman for whom the collection was designed.  Tawn will use the look book to pitch his collection to prospective vendors including some of the large department stores here in Bangkok.

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Tawn called in a half-dozen people with whom he has worked on other events, assembling a talented but reasonably priced team to assist with styling, make-up, and hair.  Our “annex” – the studio unit adjacent to our main condo, was turned into the backstage area.  Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of work I could do other than to prepare the snacks to keep the talent satisfied.

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The setting for the photo shoot was out unit, which not only saved money but also matched the style of Tawn’s collection.  Above, photographer Siwanat Phangbunkumlarp directs the models. The model on the left is a Russian with whom Tawn worked at his student fashion show.  The model on the right is Thai-German and was added later when the Russian woman’s twin sister was no longer available to do the shoot. 

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Khun Siwanat did a very detailed job, having scouted the location in advance, discussed the overall themes with Tawn, and plotted the look and feel of different shots.  It ultimately took something like 10 hours to shoot the entire sequence, but the results were very nice.  Here are some of my favorite shots.  These are pre touch-up, as the versions that Tawn will use on his website underwent modest Photoshopping.

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Stay tuned for more updates on the adventures here in Bangkok as Tawn pursues his dreams and Chris supports him.