Charm School

A young designer proves frothy fashion can still be refined. By Gabriel Bell
Disaya Sorakraikitikul entered the public eye behind a massive ball of ruffles and taffeta. Since then, however, it's been delicate dresses, and not multicolored maximalism that has become her stock in trade. Sorakraikitikul, who emigrated from Thailand to the UK in 1995, first came to the attention of the press thanks to her end-of-course BA degree show at London's Central St. Martins. The critics were struck by her final piece, a gown so coated in layers of ruffles that its ballooning form more resembled a teddy bear than a dress.
Appending an MA in Fashion to her resume has added to her growing popularity primarily through subtraction. Her MA show was all jersey and rag, while her early ready-to-wear collections made their statements through bold colors and the judicious use of the same frills that once dominated her work. Jewel tones and silks mark her label (titled Disaya for obvious reasons of brevity) and her satellite line, Boudoir, featured lingerie and lacy dresses that transitioned from the bedroom to eveningwear (or is that the other way around?)
For her latest fall/winter collection, Sorakraikitikul paired dark, sometimes brooding colors and forms with feminine touches (silk chiffon, rosettes and silk leaves), giving the line both levity and depth. Above all, the silhouettes of Disaya's winter line are as sleek and trim as can be with allusions to the current yen for preppie style and animal prints. Along with her growing line of charms and jewelry, it's another smart step forward for a designer whose fascination with frills is anything but frivolous.
Disaya is available in New York at Henri Bendel and in Los Angeles at Bird, 428 Melrose Place, Suite B, West Hollywood, 323-651-9920.
A young designer proves frothy fashion can still be refined.

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