Bernard chose to create his design in fine ‘songket’ – a royal Malay brocade, handwoven and patterned with gold and silver threads. He drew inspiration from Malay ‘kerawang’ – a style of traditional embroidery that involves cutting away the base-cloth to create
a lace effect, contemporising the look with a geometric feel. The strapless dress is carefully structured and the floor-length coat is embroidered with wool yarn.
Bernard Chandran was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, grew up in an Islamic country and comes from a mixed parentage background of Indian and Chinese. He received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Paris American Academy and Pattern Making at L’Union Des Chambers Syndicales Parisiennes, Paris. Bernard Chandran was the first non-European designer to win both the coveted Silk Cut Young Designers Award and the Open European contest for Look of the Year 2000. In 2007, he was conferred Dato (the Malaysian equivalent of a knighthood) by the Sultan of Pahang for his outstanding contributions to fashion design.
Chandran says, “traditional craftsmanship, that may be deemed mundane, dull to some, must be given a new lease of life, a whole new perspective. We can create a ‘nouveau’ sense of modernity with these artisanal ideas, which would be sought after on an international scale.”
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