Samui Wining & Dining
PANTS WITH PIZZAZZ
Fishermen Pants Shop in Lamai has raised the bar for traditional clothing.

Fishermen Pants Shop in Lamai has raised the bar for traditional clothing.Fisherman’s pants are definitely not all created equal. Most of them are flimsy, and for holidaymakers they’re a vacation purchase, along the lines of fun and frivolous. A handful of producers however, make fisherman’s pants that are eye-catchingly different: long-lasting, chic and with patterns that are unique. These are pants that match practicality (you can use them for yoga, sports and for pregnancy) with fashion (ideal for a party, or for an out-and-about time in the city). Here on Samui you’ll find a unique producer of such pants. Head for Fishermen Pants Shop in Lamai, and you’ll be browsing through the crème de la crème of creations.

          

Even Thai people are amazed by the collections here, for they, like everyone, believe that fisherman’s pants are necessarily going to be iffy. This small shop turns that belief on its head. Look at the stitching and you’ll see its going to stand the test of time. Then look at the materials and you can see that they’re high quality – exactly the type that’s going to last. But that’s probably not going to be what you notice first. You’ll be bedazzled by the designs themselves.

          

There are plenty of these, and enough to warrant some time spent looking through them. You’ll find motifs that include fish, animals and birds; swirling yet enticing abstract designs and then those that give a nod to other cultures – the yuzen patterns of Japanese fabrics or the prints of Rajasthan. You’ll also find Nepalese hemp and Chiang Mai batik,Fishermen Pants Shop in Lamai has raised the bar for traditional clothing. along with quality linens, with everything carefully put together and beautifully patterned. Children love these fisherman’s pants too, and here they’ll find their very own range.

          

This is exactly the kind of store that you delight to find in your travels. It’s the creation of Erez Shmargad, who first began making fisherman’s pants well over 15 years ago, while he was living in India, but he then moved closer to their source and came to Thailand. In that time, he’s kept on honing down exactly what makes a great pair of fisherman’s pants, so the products have gotten better and better. He receives new stock every two weeks, so what’s in his store one day might not be there when you next come back. But just in case you can’t make it to Lamai, then he and his partner Belinda maintain an excellent website (you can even chat to him through it) and you’ll be able to browse the entire collection and order anything you wish.

          

But it’d be a pity not to visit the store. To get there, turn left off the ring-road and onto the beach road as you head into Lamai from Chaweng, then turn left at the first crossroads. The store is a hundred metres down towards the sea. Opening times are 10:00 am until 7:00 pm daily, except Sundays, when the store’s open from 2:00 pm until 10:00 pm. Outside of those times, just give Erez a call. A warm welcome is given to everyone who visits. There’s no hard sell, or even soft sell. Erez is extremely hospitable and tends to keep open house – don’t be surprised if you get offered something to eat. It’s the sort of place that you don’t see much of these days, where nobody minds whether you buy something or just wander round, yet where there’s friendliness in the air.

          

The shop has an exciting range of sarongs and dresses – there are currently almost 100 different patterns – and these have been made to equally rigorous specifications. There are also bags and accessories and bikinis. The collection has been carefully put together, with many things made by hand, and using hand-screen and block-printing techniques. From their small store Erez and Belinda offer treasures that can’t be found anywhere else. What they’re doing is a new version of an old story: they’re taking traditional clothing and giving it a make-over so that it morphs into exemplary wear that’s all about reliability and elegance. And better still, not only is it great for a holiday in the sun but when you have to go home, these unique clothes won’t let you down; you can take them with you and they’ll still be wearable for years.

          

Dimitri Waring


 


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