“Dressing is not about impressing the person next to you. It’s about amplifying your personality and giving yourself confidence,” says Chu Suwannapha.
Spree is so with him on that. In the two years since launching his first menswear collection, Chu Suwannapha aka Chulaap has been combining zinging, often zany prints and a hotpot of cultural influences into highly acclaimed ‘I-want-that’ fashion.
Now, for his first womenswear collection, he has pulled in the reins to deliver a small, sophisticated range less striking, but no less dazzling in colour. Here, the impact of the pieces lie in the tailoring and prints. (There’s a reason he’s called the ‘Prince of Prints’.) Chulaap’s Cruise Collection makes a statement by whispering, not with a shout. The silhouettes are reminiscent of 1950s femininity and the prints have a recognisable oriental twist.
It celebrating ‘Africa in a Thai way’, Suwannapha takes inspiration from African street style, as well as art and cultural influences. You won’t find any raffia, leopard print or big-game-hunter khaki and camouflage here. Instead, the quirky yet current and elegant looks rely on geometric patterns – a traditional Thai design – repeated on a cool background, perfect for the South African summer.
Chulaap taps into Generation Africa’s mindset – one that is educated, open to new ideas and proud of its culture. Like his menswear, the Cruise collection has unisex appeal, speaking to the worldwide desire to be yourself and to be recognised for yourself. “Fashion should always be effortless and practical and that’s why I’ve designed beautiful garments to flatter and celebrate the African woman, who is looking for key pieces that highlight her spirit and individuality with vibrant flair.”
Kaftan Dress (Multicolour), Chulaap, R2 379.
Wear this ’60s poolside staple with sneakers or over jeans or as a lightweight coat for up-to-the-second style.
Box Top And Wide-Legged Trousers
Wide Leg Trousers (Multicolour), Chulaap, R1 679.
Your checklist for this summer’s trousers: crisp, high-waisted (hello, ’80s!), wide-legged. Wear a well-fitting pair with a box top to exude summertime cool.
Box Top And ’50s Skirt
’50s Skirt (Stone), Chulaap, R1 579.
Length is everything when it comes to nailing this combo. Box tops are not crop tops and should skim the body and meet your skirt at the waist. This summer’s full skirts sit on the knee.
Kimono Dress (Multicolour), Chulaap, R2 379.
It has everything – volume, drama, exotic appeal plus comfort in the form of a drawstring waist. Take it to the beach as a cover-up, theatre as a summer coat and everywhere in between.
It’s a shirtdress but it’s not. This popular ’60s shape is given a refresh with side pockets and a tailored skirt. Slip it on with sneakers or sandals for the ultimate ready-set-go sophistication.
STRAPPY CROP TOP AND PAPER BAG-WAIST SKIRT
Paperbag Waist Skirt Black and White, Chulaap, R1 579.
Balance and proportion are the watchwords when it comes to this new weekend staple. The straight-up-and-down skirt and scrunched waistband require an equally laid-back strappy crop top. Think fit rather than volume.
TRENCH COAT AND CIGARETTE PANTS
Trench Coat Stone, Chulaap, R3 279.
This new take on traditional pants suit combines the ’50s sex appeal of cigarette pants with the no-nonsense style of a trench to make this iconic coat truly transeasonal.
Shirt And Culottes
Cullottes Black and White, Chulaap, R1 479.
A matching shirt gives culottes a smart, tailored look with the added bonus of being slimming. Tucked in, of course, go for culottes that are full but not bulky for a ridiculously effortless look.
This article was originally posted on Spree.co.za.
Source and images: Spree