Chandran’s Futuristic Aesthetic

by Katie on February 23, 2011

Public relations people.  Us bloggers can’t live with them and can’t live without them.  Take Bernard Chandran’s PR.  Please.  After a particularly unprofessional contretemps we were told that we had been struck from the list* (*Reason: requested actual hard ticket not email version as printer broken). 

Unfazed, and still in possession of a ticket, I rocked up to Northumberland House to view Chandran’s Autumn/Winter collection.  As it happens, I was there a good 20 minutes before his representatives arrived.

Last season’s hints of Chandran’s Malaysian heritage and the Far East of the 1920’s have been swept away completely, replaced with an unforgivingly futuristic aesthetic which jarred slightly with the grandeur of the venue’s interior.  Eye-popping explosions of red, magenta, and orange lift the basic Fashion Black, as do the designer’s signature juxtapositions of fabric and texture.  Leather, lace, embellishment, and feathers are thrown into the mix, along with pleating, quilting, and a top stitching technique used to emulate tartan.  Importantly, Chandran never crosses over the line from ‘enough’ to ‘too much’, remaining firmly at the wearable end of avant garde.

Interesting developments are some experiments with volume – fabric falls away from peaked shoulders, draping at the back or the waist, and the peplums from Chandran’s last collection have morphed into sculptural discs which jut angrily from the models’ groins, emphasising the hips.

Bernard Chandran is a designer of unashamedly sexy, modern clothes and an important addition to the London fashion scene.  I just hope that, in future, I’ll be invited to witness his label’s progression.
Article by Lee Clatworthy for Katie Chutzpah.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous February 23, 2011 at 1:42 pm

As someone lucky enough to see the show, it would appear to me that your comments on Bernard’s designs stem from your lack of vision and irritation that you weren’t able to get a ‘hard’ ticket. Perhaps the PR team realised your incapability to recognise great fashion and were unwilling to waste a ticket on someone so close-minded. Yes, Bernards’s designs were different from last season – is that not what fashion should do – progress? Or are you maintaining that each collection should be identical and stagnant? The location was indeed grand – a great and positive juxtaposition of the old and the new. I personally hope that someone with better taste is invited to his next show.


Lee February 23, 2011 at 6:10 pm


We don’t normally post comments from undisclosed sources but we feel we have to answer your criticism.

I’m sorry you feel aggrieved but you must’ve been reading a completely different review to the one above, as I commented on Chandran’s progression as a designer, and I feel my positive comments outweighed any negativity.

If some irritation has been conveyed then this is due to the, frankly, unwarranted behaviour by the PR (as a sidenote, an assistant at this firm has been overwhelming helpful in comparison). This irritation has been compounded by the absence of a response to an email sent to the firm’s director highlighting this issue.

Coincidentally, I have spoken to a number of bloggers and members of the press, and it appears that Katie Chutzpah wasn’t the only victim of this firm’s lack of professionalism.

The less said the better about the crowd who were locked out of an oversold Bora Aksu show without an explanation or apology from the PR.

Katie Chutzpah is committed to supporting British fashion, and have offered their support to Bernard Chandran through this, and a previous positive review of his Spring/ Summer collection, as well as a personal recommendation to the head womenswear buyer for a major high street retailer.

I hope this highlights our position in this matter.



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