Phones & A Yulgang Fest?
Looks like the mobile companies are going all out to open the wallets of Thai consumers. And why not, when Thais are among the most avid phone users in Asia. Just the week earlier I wrote about the launch of Huawei's P20 and P20 Pro. Last week there were another two invitations, for Oppo F7 and Honor 7C. The Oppo F7 incorporates what the publicity materials call AI Beauty, targeted at those into taking selfies and portraits (which Thai person from tweenies to oldies isn’t?). However, the event at GMM Live House at Central World started so late—a wait of almost one and a half hours—that I didn’t stay to hear all the details. Meanwhile the Honor 7C is a smartphone with dual-lens camera and face unlock technology. It was held at the same venue but on Sunday afternoon, with a Yulgang music festival. It takes a lot to get me out of the house on Sunday and I am sorry to say a Yulgang fest (I had to look up what that meant) was just not enough.
Food, however, is more my thing...
... and last week there were three gourmet meals. The first was at Banyan Tree’s rooftop Vertigo where world-class chef Bobby Chinn created a five-course menu. Not only is this Egyptian-Chinese-New Zealander an amazing chef, but he also plays a mean guitar, as he demonstrated to the guests after the meal.
The next one was to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Dilmah Tea, one of Sri Lanka’s best-known exports. TV presenter and celebrity chef Peter Kuruvita, an Australian-Sri Lankan, was flown in to present lunch and dinner at the Drawing Room of Marriott Marquis Bangkok. Each course was created with tea infusions and paired with tea served in a wine glass. Sri Lankan ambassador HE Kshenuka Serewiratne was welcomed at the dinner by Tassanee Assawagovitwong, general manager of Dilmah importer Global Premium Wine.
And finally to Gaysorn Urban Retreat to experience its chef’s table, an elegant long-table dining setting. The dinner was a nine-course menu by German chef Dirk Roedig who dedicated each course to the great culinary masters through the ages, from the 16th century Bartolomeo Scappi to the contemporary Paul Bocuse. Charn Srivikorn of Gaysorn Property hosted the event attended by its Diamond members and clients.
Fashion came in the form of the unveiling of the Chanel "Metiers d’Art Paris-Hamburg" collection at Warehouse 30. Karl Lagerfeld chose the port city of Hamburg and the new Elbphilharmonie building as the inspirations. Most of the items focus on the uniforms of the merchant navy, from sailor collars and jackets to redingotes and wide trousers, many embroidered and sequinned. Some others are influenced by the architectural form of the all-glass Elbphilharmonie. This collection, more than the others, stayed close to the spirit of Gabrielle Chanel who counted the striped sailor top among her favourites.
Pit Stop at Gems Pavilion
There was also a visit to the sparkling office of Gems Pavilion on Pan Road, which also houses the factory. It was for the launch of The Emblem collection, created from the brand’s logo, which takes its shape from a marquise diamond. The company was founded by the Ahchariyasripong siblings and celebrates its 22nd anniversary this year. Piya, Pranisa and Worawut were on hand to take the guests on private tours of the factory, which was an eye-opener on the intricate and detailed processes involved in the crafting of each piece of jewellery.
Swarovski Bobby Pins & BMW Life Experiences
Swarovski hosted the "Let the Swan Take the Spotlight" event. Held at the new rooftop Vanilla Sky venue of Compass Skyview hotel, it presented the "Facet Swan" collection, highlighting the brand’s iconic swan logo in use since 1989. This new line consists of delicate rose gold-plated accessories with a wide range of products including even bobby pins and hair clips.
I also stopped by the press presentation of The Ultimate Joy Experience, which offers tailor-made lifestyle progammes for BMW car owners. These unique activities that go beyond driving" in Thailand and overseas were launched last year, and this year there have been two exciting trips to join in the Ice Experience in Arjeplog, Sweden and the Track Experience in Estoril, Portugal. Sethipong Anutarasoti, BMW general manager for marketing, introduced three other opportunities coming up: the Berlin Marathon, the Ryder Cup and the Track Experience at Nurburgring.
Book Launch: Optimism Is Ridiculous
Finally, a trip across the river to Lhong 1919 for the launch of the book on artist Natee Utarit , Optimism is Ridiculous. The event was hosted by Tanapong Chirapanidchakul of Tanachira, importer of brands such as Pandora and Marimekko, who also has a passion for art. Natee is an internationally-exhibited artist whose works comment on the country’s political and social landscape. He is known for his large altarpiece works inspired by Renaissance diptychs and triptychs, once of which was on display at the event. The book was written by Italian Demetrio Paparoni and proceeds go to the Project Love Asia Foundation.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: April 16-22)