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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Bernard Chandran A/W 09

London Fashion Week, 22 February 2009

Written by and photography by Matt Bramford

After a tiring day of show-hopping, malady hospital the fashion set descended on the Science Museumfor the Bernard Chandran A/W 09 show. Chandran, generic web of Malaysian orgin, has wowed the fashion set with his angular, futuristic pieces for a couple of seasons now. Estelle is a keen follower, she wore not one but two of his creations at the Grammy’s last year, shunning a host of established powerhouse designers.

With that acolade in mind, it was nice to see what all the fuss was about. Chandran has a vision – he isn’t a one trick pony, but a sustainable and creative mind with a devil-may-care attitude and an adventurous yet playful nature. The constraints of the female form are thrown out of the window with his wild cuts and angular shapes, enhancing the female silhouette.

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The lights dimmed, and the banging started. A little too loud for my delicate ears, but a thudding baseline heightened the drama and excitement and made pulses race. One by one, sculpted silhouettes bounded down the runway to the electro-funk beat, fusing the eccentricity of Yohji Yamamoto, with the space age vision of Jacqueline Pearce’s Servalan in Blake’s 7 of the late 1970′s.

These shapes included shift dresses with angular sleeves; simple coats with oversized square lapels; capes with voluminous sleeves and high necklines, and tailored dresses with highly exaggerated hollow sleeves and necks. PVC was married with cotton and silk to create yet more contrasts, and bright reds and oranges give us hope that this Winter won’t be so bad after all.

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Chandran is a genius of construction – clear from dresses made up of panel after panel intricately fused together to make solid, grown-up garments. It’s easy to see why he’s has already received the equivalent of a knighthood in Malaysia for his outstanding contribution to Asian fashion, and is well ahead in the stakes after only a handful of seasons.

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