Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Kulikar Sotho & Kambuja

I have taken this article from the fashion pages of the quality magazine Asia Life – Phnom Penh: The What’s On Guide to Phnom Penh (September 2007 edition) as Kulikar is a good friend of mine, a workaholic who juggles being a wife and mother with managing three businesses, but who as a rule, shuns the limelight. So the following article is a rarity.

Design Talk : Kulikar Sotho

Khmer designer Kulikar Sotho’s fashion career started in 1990, when she ran a second-hand clothing stall at the Central Market. She then went onto work in the family tourism business and the film industry, while continuing to explore her love of fashion.
“I found I was good at mixing colours and combinations,” she says of her origins as a designer. She started sketching clothing and devising colour combinations before her passion was translated into a business. A meeting with a US-based designer presented her an opportunity to join forces and go into business, resulting in the beautiful Phnom Penh boutique – Kambuja.
Open for two-and-a-half years now, Kambuja houses Kulikar’s own daywear creations on the ground floor and an evening wear collection by US designer Lauren Marrie on the mezzanine level. The evening dresses here start from US$180.

The daywear is made of cotton, linen and silk, with some very elegant pieces leaning towards the dressy side of casual. Kulikar fuses elements from the east and west, with her Cambodian heritage influencing the designs and fabrics used. One such example is a pair of hipster pants featuring an embroidered dragon, which she says were made in memory of her father who was born in the year of the dragon.
Not all the clothing is this flamboyant though. Delicate and feminine silk tops and casual cotton dresses mix with flattering western style trousers. Kulikar introduces some new designs to her collection on the fifth day of every month.

A small menswear collection was recently added, consisting of daywear such as cotton shirts and casual trousers. The men’s shirts start from US$22 for the short-sleeved variety. Whilst most are in plain neutrals, some have a creative east-west touch.
Kulikar says she finds most of her inspiration behind her clothing designs through travel. “I think designs belong to the world,” she says.
Kambuja, 165 Ang Duong Boulevard (Street 110), Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Tel. 012 613 586.

2 comments:

Satrey Khmer said...

What a brilliant woman she is!

eazibee said...

She is brilliant indeed! I know Kulikar also and was searching for info about her business to tell some friends of mine about it - I live in New York - and I found your article... Thanks! E