If it were possible to quantify independence in fashion design, Laura Thapthimkuna would be off the charts. This young designer melds fashion, art and science into garments that are utterly stunning and thought-provoking.
After graduating from The International Academy of Design and Technology, Laura interned with renowned fiber artist Nick Cave. Like Cave, Laura possesses a notable confidence in her conceptual approach to fashion, it’s no wonder that she’s comfortable pushing boundaries and blurring the lines between fashion and art.
Inspired by scientific subjects and imagery, her first collection grew from a fascination with embryonic development and bacterial forms. She used textures found in bacteria and anatomy to propel her towards creations that have strong three-dimensional elements. With creative pieces that are voluminous and interesting from all views, whether it be the hundreds of small nodules that compose a vest or the billowing beard-shaped top that literally ensconces its wearer or the top that seems to include a built-in sling for an arm, Laura challenges notions of fashion and the very idea of clothing.
By designing highly conceptual works, Laura clearly has eschewed the more commercial route, but it’s a decision that she’s happy with. “I can’t stand mediocrity in design,” she says. “I always try to design pieces that challenge the mind.”
Her first co designed ready to wear collection (designed with Alstaire Del Rosario) debuted at Gamma Player, which was named by New York Times as one of Chicago's most influential new stores.
Laura also specializes in custom stage wear for performers, for international and up and coming performing artists. Her work has been featured in music videos, album covers and onstage by performing acts. She has also worked with and provided costumes for Chicago-based theater company "Collaboraction" for interpretive theatrical performances.
Her work has been exhibited in Chicago Fashion Week. She has also been commissioned for fashion installations in many galleries across Chicago such as Toyota's Creative Lounge Space where she was selected to represent the United States in a fashion show that consisted of designers from specific countries. Her work has been featured in CS magazine, New City Magazine, CBS News and BRAVO. Her unique design aesthetic stood out in such a way that gained her a place on Rihanna's new fashion design competition "Styled to Rock", where her designs were showcased to celebrity clients.