Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More on Wardrobe

Having had that experience with my first photoshoot in Bangkok, I was immediately aware of the importance of having assembled some wardrobe items ahead of time.  My second shoot was a rather brief bikin shoot, poolside (with Xanny), and I didn't have any wardrobe needs since she brought her bikini.  We only shot for about a half hour, as we were late in the day and quickly losing light.

As I prepared for my third shoot, I was in the fortunate position of having a chance to meet the model ahead of time to discuss the shoot.  After we chatted about ideas over lunch, I mentioned that I'd be going to "Platinum" to pick up some wardrobe items.  She was interested in coming along, thinking maybe she'd see something she wanted to wear for the shoot.  Great - all the more fun. 

Platinum is this huge, windowless, no-frills outlet that houses hundreds of small vendors selling clothing and accessories.  It spreads across seven or eight floors, and can be quite daunting for the unitiated.  I discovered it myself a few years ago when a Thai girlfriend I once had led me to this treasure trove.  The place is amazing, but the shopper has to be aware of a few things.  For one, it is a wholesale outlet.  So one has to be prepared to buy at least "three" of something, or pay a substantially higher price.  Secondly, the clothes are sometimes displayed on a hanger, or even a mannequin - but when you but the item, you will be handed a little bundle with your item tightly folded or bound in a plastic bag.  It is not Nordstrom. 

Also, for me at least, I know that I need to buy early in the process of shopping.  If I "shop" too much, I will soon become overwhelmed with choices, and find myself locked into a mode of indecision.  Even if I think back of an item I saw earlier that I want to backtrack and buy, I have learned that I may be unable to find that little shop again.  They all look a bit alike, and there are rows and rows of stores, with very little signage.  So, I've learned the following: if I see something I "might" want (for a photoshoot, that is), buy it.  It's remarkably inexpensive.  Quality may be a bit on the marginal side, but it will surely last through one photoshoot - so it's the perfect place for a photographer in search of a particular look.

My model friend (Aaew) hung out with me for about an hour at Platinum, then left at some point while I continued my search for thigh-high stockings.  I was determined to find them, but it was certainly not proving to be easy.  Finally, on the basement floor, I found the mother lode. A store with all kinds of lingerie and naughty outfits.  I was getting some funny looks from the shopkeeper, an elderly Thai woman, as I asked for a closeup look at several different pairs of stockings.  I was interrupted at one point, when a woman asked me which outfit I thought would be sexier (she was asking me as proxy for her husband, who she hoped to surprise).  I couldn't resist teasing her, and told her she'd have to put it one in order for me to tell, but we just laughed and I gave her my opinion (to me, simpler is better).

With my black thigh-highs in hand, and like a rat in a laboratory maze, I found my way back to the escalator, reached the ground floor, and darted for the door.  By now it was dark outside, and raining!  Yikes - one of those late afternoon Bangkok downpours.  I was at least 15 minutes walk to the SkyTrain station, so I got pretty well soaked before reaching cover.  I wasn't phased, though, as I was still feeling pretty stoked about my find.

More to come...

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