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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Bernard Chandran (by Matt)

Bernard Chandran warmed our cold, damp hearts on day two of fashion week, with neons and feathers, at the Show Space - fabulously illustrated bu Lesley Barnes and Katie Walters!

Written by Matt Bramford


Illustration by Lesley Barnes

So Saturday morning – day two of London Fashion Week – started off brilliantly. It was p*ssing it down, the tyre on my bike had deflated itself twice and I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Gallantly, if I do say so myself, I hot-stepped it to work to put some articles together, and then when it was time made my way to The Show Space on Northumberland Avenue (where I had been the previous day to view Jean Pierre Braganza’s collection) armed with an umbrella.

Unfortunately, the rest of London’s fashion population were also armed with umbrellas (despite wearing some outfits best saved for hot Summer evenings – gah) and queuing was a bit of a nightmare. Luckily I bumped into my pal Sabrina from The Science of Style, and we huddled together in the queue and waited. And waited. And waited some more. Eventually a call was made for orange stickers and we were ushered inside, and while we waited even more for the show to start, Sabrina filled me in on the gossip with some of the front row-ers.


Illustration by Katie Walters

I’ve always liked Bernard’s aesthetic – always vibrant with an exotic feel. This time around didn’t disappoint, and his signature architectural pieces were on form along with some other softer, flattering designs. Blinding hues of magenta and bursts of orange lit up the catwalk (and our cold, damp hearts) which appeared on hooded dresses and were welcomed on on shift dresses with flamboyantly embroidered patterns that looked like heart-monitor graphs, cutting muted grey dresses in half.


Illustration by Lesley Barnes

This being autumn/winter, there was a unsurprising amount of black in the collection (a bugger to photograph alongside acid brights), with one of my favourite pieces in the collection being an enormous cocoon-like knee-length jacket with exaggerated shoulders and geometric details – confirming Chandran’s status as a showman. Other black jackets were sexed up with neon tights and accessories.

Strutured dresses focussed on waists with details with dresses meeting there and extending away from the body – Chandran creates silhouettes that flatter the fashion-forward woman.

The collection progressed with feathered showpieces in rich reds and bright orange – a pure delight – and a red expertly-embellished onesie. But it was back to black to close the show – an all-in-one covered in delicate feathers and jewels – reminding us of Bernard’s exotic heritage and innate attention to detail.

All photography by Matt Bramford

See more of Lesley Barnes’ illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration. Read Helen’s fab write-up of this show here!

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