WWD: Phnom Penh Designers Week Showcases Emerging Talents – and Fashion Potential

November 7, 2016

By Dene-Hern Chen

Phnom Penh Designers Week (Credit: Dene-Hern Chen)

Phnom Penh Designers Week (Credit: Dene-Hern Chen)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Models dressed in billowing gowns strutted down a parking lot-turned-runway under the headlights of an Audi as the show’s audience watched in rapt attention. Music pulsed through the luxury car dealership’s showroom.

The scene — not out of place in Asia’s more cosmopolitan cities like Singapore or Hong Kong — may appear a dramatic juxtaposition compared with the garment factories located just 30 minutes from the Audi showroom, but Phnom Penh Designers Week revealed that Cambodia can be more than a manufacturing destination.

Featuring 10 designers over three nights last week, PPDW — organized by Phnom Penh-based Fashion Lab Magazine — showcased the emerging talents of this small Southeast Asian country. From structural denim men’s wear crafted by a former garment factory employee to the grand billowing gowns of an ex-agriculture student, the collections displayed the ambitions of the Cambodian designers.

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