Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Bernard Chandran

Illustration by Rachel Lewis Illustrations by Rachel Lewis

In what is swiftly developing into a London Fashion Week tradition, treat Fashion editor Matt Bramford and I found ourselves waiting in eager anticipation for what would be our third consecutive Bernard Chandran Catwalk. Meeting outside The Old Sorting Office at 9.15 on a cold Saturday morning, more about we wondered what this intriguing designer would produce for S/S 2011.

All photographs by Matt Bramford

The tunic dresses of the collection carried Bernard Chandran’s signature nature inspired prints and were inspired by the designer’s interest in the clean lines and rectangular shape of tradition Malay garments. The print effect were achieved by a traditional Malaysian technique known as Kerawang. Elongated pockets relaxed the straight lines and the bell sleeves added a touch of modern romance.

This most recent collection was a markably less experimental than the designer’s S/S 2010 affair (read our review here). However, information pills taking in the consideration of the current economic climate and the limited funds these designers often have available to them, it is not surprising that the majority of the catwalks (that this reviewer has seen) of S/S 2010 have focused on designs that are relatively sellable rather than the ‘crazy cool’ London is known for.

Perhaps the increased interest in commerce is the result of the British Fashion Council’s hard work to reestablish London Fashion Week as a viable option for buyers to stop at between New York, Milian and Paris. Whatever the reason is, behind this move away from challenging shows, it would be a shame if designers lost completely their platform for experimentation.

Illustration by Rachel Lewis Illustrations by Rachel Lewis

For S/S, the Bernard Chandran women will be dressed in a simple shift coupled with outsized rectangular paneling or the designers trademark use of print. These delicate prints adorning the clothes often have surprising original locations – be it studio detritus, objects or the environment of the designer’s native Malaysia.

The collection shimmered with deep golds interwoven with simmering greens, the collection embraced the colour spectrum and metallics made an appearance either entirely

or within knitted patchwork panels:

As would have be duly noted by now, this London Fashion Week has been the season of tottering models – but perhaps it is not surprising when they are sent down the catwalk in both the highest and filmiest of shoes? One model who never regained her balance limped out of the catwalk.

The music for the show was performed live by Mr Hudson, the hard beats of the DJ was a bold contrast with the sophisticated projection for what to wear in S/S 2011.

The off schedule London catwalks often provide a break from the banal trend reporting the fashion press increasingly focuses on. In reality breathtaking shows whose zeitgeist impact ripple across catwalks for seasons to come are few and far between.

Currently an idea of sophisticated 70′s elegance dominates following the recent (2009) collections of Chloe, Celine and Stella MaCartney, it is refreshing to see collections by designers who are continuing to develop their own aesthetic language.

Trousers came as skinny as the eponymous YSL cigarette suit and the presence of the jumpsuit remains undiminished, are they becoming an undeniable aspect of a designer’s repertoire? As uniform as trousers, skirts and dresses?

Bernard Chandran’s gently romantic collection came to a head with the final show stopping dress, perfect for those days that require a decadent lounging outfit.

Categories ,Bernard Chandran, ,Blow PR, ,british fashion council, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Malaysia, ,Modern Romance, ,My Beautiful Fashion, ,Off Schedule, ,S/S 2011, ,SS11, ,The Old Sorting Office

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