Thakoon Panichgul's secondary collection, Addition
, has broken away from his main line, in mood and in real estate. In his showroom this week, Panichgul said the label now hangs comfortably in the contemporary section of the stores that carry his namesake line; and instead of being tied to the trends of the season on the main stage, it allows him the opportunity to try something new—and to retry what's worked before. Addition is both a lab for testing and a winner's circle for best-sellers to enjoy a second and third showing instead of being quickly put out to pasture. That's a strategy that suits customers as well as designers. A great little dress is still a great little dress seasons and even years later, never mind whether it's currently the flavor of the month. And that's what's on offer here: affordable blocked jersey and crepe de chine shifts, cotton poplin shirtdresses with dropped waists, tiered racerback maxis in pop-ish prints. "Really simple dresses," Panichgul explained, though he means the kind of simple that comes in an ikat-influenced, almost animal-print orange and fuchsia.
But never mind that—fans will snap them up, along with affordable knits (like a macramé-ish cotton sweater Panichgul called "snake lace") and, as in seasons past, pieceworked chambray and khaki shorts, cigarette pants, and jackets. The stated theme for Spring was "African surf," which perches Panichgul solidly atop the wave that plenty of other designers are riding—albeit with his own tweaky spin. And what Addition lacks in shock of the new, it more than makes up for as a shopper's resource.