On a recent trip to Bangkok, one thing that caught our eye was the flagging influence of American style in this Asian megacity. Once the epitome of ‘cool’, the states have been submerged beneath the rising tide of Korean and Japanese fashion and music. The majority of Asia now looks to Korea and Japan as their role-models of style, beauty and expression.
However, the old ‘Red, White and Blue’ still has one tune that Asia is listening to- Americana. The latter day, rebellious kitsch of 20th century USA, was popping up everywhere we went in Bangkok.
From the direct lift to the witty re-imagining, things like the greasy spoon, the speakeasy, the motorcycle gang and the Sailor Jerry tattoo aesthetic were present everywhere we looked. And while, sure, you may always have the big brand hegemony of Hollywood films and the likes of Coke keeping some form of the American conversation salient, we think that America’s most interesting cultural export these days is it’s past.
Check out these two places which capture the spirit of Americana in Bangkok.
Iron Fairies & Co- a speakeasy inspired cocktail bar in trendy Thong Lo area
Three Brothers Barbershop- a new wave rockabilly barbershop