Bernard Chandran Interview
August 15, 2010
Currently known as Malaysia’s ‘Prince of Fashion’, Bernard Chandran’s talents have earned him many faithful clients among Malaysia’s elite (most notably the Royal families of Malaysia and Brunei) as well as celebrities like Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Here, I speak Bernard about his design influences, London and his thoughts on the women wearing his collection…
SN: There was a huge, approving applause after your celebrity-studded AW10 show. Can you describe how you feel straight after showing a collection?
BC: Absolute relief but felt good at the same time, the adrenaline still runs through me even after everything has settled.
SN: Your Autumn/Winter 2010 collection struck me as being extremely wearable – I could see myself in every one of the designs – was that a conscious decision on your part?
BC: I had in mind what a modern, confident lady was looking for and at the same time looking for something different edgy and sexy.
SN: As a designer, you have dressed royalty and celebrities, but in your mind, who is the typical Bernard Chandran woman?
BC: A Bernard Chandran woman is modern, sexy and confident. Women who are confident and know what they want and make their wardrobe works for them are great encouragement to me. Some of these clients of mine have learnt great style and it is truly an encouragement to see them grown their fashion boundaries with me.
SN: You have the instinctive ability to fuse the best of eastern design with western influences. How do you personally think you achieve this?
BC: Hailing from the Far East has given me an added advantage. In fact, this has allowed me to combine the best of every world; my heritage hails from the exotic influence of mixed Indian-Chinese parentage. Put together the richness of these two cultures with being raised in the Malay world and having trained for a fashion degree in Paris as well as establishing an international presence in London. I’m glad we can innovate and combine the eclectic with the practical, especially when it comes to interpreting cultures on the runway.
SN: You learnt your trade in Paris but have shown primarily at London Fashion Week since your debut in 2006, why is that, is there something unique about London?
BC: London has been a great inspiration to my growth. The city (London) is very much a foundation of fashion, it is edgy and there is such great freedom for artistic expression. Just being there has given me great motivation and a fresh perspective to my creativity.
SN: Is there anything in particular that is inspiring you right now?
BC: I am always inspired by nature, movies, everything within my surrounding, sometimes if one bothers to take note; there are a lot of things that can become an inspiration.
SN: What piece of clothing would you not be able to live without?
SN: What is your biggest fashion pet hate?
BC: Nothing, but I guess at a push, untidiness…
SN: Apart from the next collection – which we’re dying to see in September! – is there anything in the pipeline for Bernard Chandran you would like to share?
BC: You’ll have to wait and see!
For more on Bernard Chandran and his inspirational designs, head over to his website: www.bernardchandran.com