Calendar Pages -- Siam Society Lecture - Fit For A Queen:

October 13th, 2016

Siam Society Lecture - Fit For A Queen:

Siam Society Lecture - Fit For A Queen:0

Siam Society Lecture - Fit For A Queen: Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s Creations by Balmain.
A talk by Melissa Leventon

Thursday, 13 October 2016
Time: 7.30 p.m. 

In 1960, Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit  embarked on a historic state visit to 15 Western nations. The tour was the West’s formal introduction to the youthful royal couple. Her Majesty had determined that she would need a fashionable, seasonally appropriate Western wardrobe for the six-month-long tour, and she engaged renowned Paris couturier Pierre Balmain to design it. Balmain proved to be an excellent choice, creating a regal wardrobe—much of it made from Thai silk—for HM the Queen.  Thus elegantly attired, Her Majesty garnered tremendous interest and acclaim, which contributed greatly to the tour’s success. The trip established her as an international tastemaker and the era’s epitome of royal style.
Balmain, along with François Lesage, who had provided the embroidery for Her Majesty’s formal clothes, remained closely involved with the development of HM the Queen’s style.  Balmain designed the Western-style clothes for Her Majesty’s continued international travels, and he and Lesage soon began to make Her Thai national dress as well. Beginning early in the 1970s, Balmain and Lesage’s work extended to developing strategies to transform Thai village silks into fashionable Western attire, which was worn by Her Majesty promote the work of her SUPPORT Foundation.
In conjunction with Fit For A Queen, an exhibition of Her Majesty’s Western-style Balmain wardrobe now on view at the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, Melissa Leventon, senior consultant to the museum, will speak on the collaboration between Queen and couturier, and Balmain’s design strategies and the development of Her Majesty’s signature style.
Ms. Melissa Leventon is a specialist in European and American costume and textiles.  Formerly Curator-in-Charge of Textiles at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, she is now principal of Curatrix Group Museum Consultants.  Melissa has authored or contributed to many exhibition catalogues and journals and teaches fashion history and theory at California College of the Arts.  She has been a consultant to the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in Bangkok since 2006.
Date: Thursday, 13 October 2016
Time: 7.30 p.m. 
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

Non-members donation: B200. Siam Society members, members’ spouses and children, and all students showing valid student ID cards are admitted free of charge. For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri or email

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The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2016-2017 Lecture Series.