‘Dressed By The Kids’ Stylist Dr. Manrutt Wongkaew Talks to Us about Creating the Campaign

Manrutt Wongkaew, stylist for Oxfam’s Dressed By the Kids Campaign, 2017, is a doctor of fashion and dance. He worked alongside the incredible hairstylist Anne Veck and make-up artist, Lauren Kay,  to create a fantastic vision of what Dressed By the Kids looks like in 2017.  He shares his passion for playful colour in his fashion with us today.  Dressed by the Kids happens Friday 16th June so get your kids, nephews, nieces, grandchildren or family friends on board and get ready!

 

Dinner Ladies

“I see life in full colour. It gives me joy and vitalises me with immense energy. Having worked in fashion corporates where colours were discouraged, I decided to depart from this type of environment and be true to myself. I am a man of colour and I carry vibrant cultural heritage. I believe in colour and it is my vision to return colours back to fashion and the people.

My name is Dr. Manrutt Wongkaew. I am a doctor of fashion and dance. I help independent brands and fashion businesses grow their visual strengths to compete against conglomerate power and fast fashion trends. My features have been included in British GQ, Vogue and The Telegraph. My work is never about fashion, but rather how I push the boundaries of the art-form to connect with the light and shade of human emotion.

Staffroom

When I received a phone call from Oxfam, I was over the moon. It’s an absolute honour to be asked by the team to style their Dressed By The Kids 2017 national campaign. I turned up with 2 large suitcases filled with vibrant accessories and 2 clothes rails full of rainbow-wear, all sourced and hand-picked from the Oxfam warehouse in Milton Keynes. At the shoot, I juxtaposed proportion, pattern and colour to deconstruct visual perceptions of what is conceived as professional attire. A pink teacups baseball cap was worn with a floral retro gown, finished with pink boxing gloves. This was how I dressed my dinner lady. For mum, a wedding dress was married to a pirate hat and accessorised with an oversized pom-pom Hello Kitty necklace. A schoolteacher had a ball as I gave her a globe chained-necklace to be worn with lemon feathered bowler hat whilst her colleague enjoyed a brew in his superhero bathrobe worn over cricket shin pads. The work allows me to be in touch with my inner child and I have let little Manny run wild with his creative imagination. It is not only a fun day at the shoot but it is also my absolute pleasure to help Oxfam fighting poverty with my art. And what a successful campaign it was!
 

Dropping Off At School

 

After the shoot, Dressed by the Kids 2017 organiser Kelly O’Connor called me Colour Warrior – a name I hold dear to my heart. The name has inspired me to write a Colour Warrior manifesto which sets its objectives to a) embrace diversity and celebrate individual values; b) to support local artists and fashion start-ups here in the UK; and c) to build an alternative fashion system that is inclusive, nurturing and abuse-free. It warms my heart that Oxfam has seen my value and allowed me to be part of their exciting campaign. Colour has its healing power. Find your inner warrior. Be colourful. Be yourself. Embrace diversity and be the change. Together, we will create another world and live life in full colour. Thank you, Oxfam, for inspiring me on this journey.”

Inspired by Manrutt to let your little ones play stylist for the day? Sign up and share your pledge to join in and pictures of you on the day with #DressedByTheKids on Twitter and Instagram!

 

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