By Jack Williams
This talented designer has shown that you don’t need all the amenities of the western world to make stunning dresses.
Suchanatda Kaewsa-nga’s incredible works are created using natural and recycle materials – often coming from the trash in her native Thailand.
They include dresses made from the likes of wheat, bamboo, leaves and grass – all given the professional treatment by a group of filmmakers and photographers who discovered her picking up materials on the street.
The 35-year-old’s work was noticed by filmmaker Keow Wee Loong and his friends, photographer Mackidd Khor and videographer Delon Ng, while they were recently travelling through.
The group found Suchanatda – who is from Korat and known as Kiki – rummaging for materials near a street food stall.
After she showed Keow and others her work – some of which had featured prominently on Facebook a few months earlier, Keow said – the group decided to arrange a complete photoshoot in the working class area.
Keow said: “She can literally make dress out of anything.
“Creativity and innovation, being poor: it does not stop her from fulfilling her dream of becoming a designer.”
By documenting Kiki’s work, Keow hopes that the designer will gain the recognition her talents deserve.
He and his friends decided that, rather than continue their vacation, they would cancel their return flights to Malaysia and spend four days working on the fashion project with Kiki, photographing her dresses and filming her work.
The designer has been working on such dresses for years, Keow said, but she is only now starting to gain traction.
Keow said: “We’ve seen Lady Gaga wearing dresses like Kiki’s, but most of the designers are western.
“Kiki is a very talented designer, but she does not have contacts with the foreign press.
“We wish to see her succeed in her dream.”