I always try to support our local Malaysian designers. There are some really good designers here in our sunny country without a doubt although I have to say that there are also some copycats and others who should pick up a few examples from people like Tom Abang Saufi, Zang Toi, Melinda Looi and Bernard Chandran. These are all very important designers in Malaysian fashion industry. Tom Abang Saufi for example has had her designs worn by Cherie Blair, of course the wife of Tony Blair. Zang Toi has celebrities like Eva Longoria- Parker, Ivana Trump, Beverly Johnson and Meg Ryan in his designs as well as collaborated with jewelry designer Wendy Brandes for one of his collections. As for Melinda Looi, her avant-garde designs has won her countless fashion awards and earned her so many recognitions and praises from all over the world. And of course Mr. Bernard Chandran who’s collection now can even be seen on Vogue websites, showed at London Fashion Week and had his designs worn by the like of Estelle, Lady GaGa and many other edgy fashionistas.
Bernard Chandran is going on full-force at the moment. He’s all over the place and his designs are highly praised. He is definitely on top of the world right now. And as for an entertainment industry and Hollywood-crazed writer like myself, I was more than thrilled to find out that pop phenomenon like Lady GaGa has worn his designs on Jay Leno show, The 2009 Brit Awards, magazines photo shoots and even while just shopping around in London.
I have to be honest that I was a little bit skeptical in the past. I saw his earlier collection and it was not that strong compared to what they already have there in London, Paris or Italy. But for his Spring/Summer 2010 collection, Bernard Chandran has taken the whole design elements to the next level. They are new, edgy and very cohesive. It is innovative and very futuristic that upon the first look I was mistaken it for Hussein Chalayan and Balenciaga.
The color combinations really screams ‘summer’ with splashes of orange and blue over shiny gold, silver and black. The uber famous signature lantern-skirts made another appearance this time around in more rounded shape along with more structured and architectural bodice. For instance the huge V-neck and heavy cape that certainly adds serious amount of drama to the collection. But Bernard managed to soften it all up with flowy fabrics and floral motives.
Bernard also maintained some elements of Asian with some mandarin collars and Vietnam-style hat. The accessories are quirky and they really compliment the whole collection with glittery bird-like mask, gold fish head piece and also the metallic ribbon shoes.
Overall, Bernard Chandran Spring/Summer 2010 is a very inspiring collection with a lot of surprises and a total 180 from his earlier collection the first time he showed at the Fashion Week. I am not going to get into the whole patriotic-sspeech here, but I have to say that if there’s one designer that really put Malaysia on the international fashion map, it’s definitely Bernard Chandran.
**I wrote this piece about Bernard Chandran for Emmagem after seing some photos of Lady GaGa wearing his creations HERE and HERE. But the next morning I got a text message from my editor saying that they have already reviewed Bernard Chandran Spring/Summer 2010 collection quite some time ago.
**So I had to write ANOTHER ONE within a couple of hours in between teaching that day.
Song playing inside my head: Lady GaGa's Alejandro