it was a new year celebration with a sartorial difference. amidst all the champagne-popping, flying confetti and strains of auld lang syne, I suddenly found myself in the centre of a menswear circle jerk. it all started with an innocent question about the paisley bow tie around my neck, which quickly progressed to all manner of menswear style enquiries and varying degrees of expert opinions.
in the festive spirit of bros helping fashionisto bros, I let slip the name JBB, a thai menswear label that takes pride of place in almost half of my wardrobe.
Jirawat Bote Benchakarn, whose eponymous label has been dressing the male members of my team and I for the better part of the last four years ( ever since I made the designer’s acquaintance at the inaugural asian mens fashion week in singapore ), is a menswear genius who infuses bespoke elements into his pieces.
devotees of the label flock to bote’s stylish store from all over asia, some making bi-annual pilgrimages to get their sartorial fix. the cosy space is tucked away in a discreet corner at the basement of the grand hyatt erawan hotel in bangkok. when my team and I visited at the tail end of 2014, the designer had just opened a pop-up store next door to cater to his rapidly-expanding range, and shared with me that plans are in the works to expand the store sometime in 2015.
needless to say, we walked away with lighter wallets and arms weighed down with his signature cerulean-and-white striped paper bags stuffed with pieces from his cruise collection, killing several style birds with one stone and taking care of our christmas shopping and our twenty-fifteen sartorial needs in one fell swoop