bernard chandran

A glamorous gown with matching cape from Bernard Chandran’s Petang Raya Collection.

Inspired by one of his most loyal customers – the Queen of Brunei Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha – Datuk Bernard Chandran’s 10th Petang Raya Collection is a cacophony of colours, prints, textures and fabric.

In the hands of a less sagacious designer, it might have come across as gaudy and kitsch but being the fashion maestro that he is, Bernard made heavily embellished gowns with matching capes and oversized embroidered blousons nonchalantly thrown over long dresses look chic and occasion-appropriate.

Held in the grand ballroom of the newly opened St Regis Kuala Lumpur – it was the first event there – royalty, fashionistas, actresses, models and socialitesall turned up in their afternoon best. A retrospective of his decade-long Petang Raya collection was exhibited outside the ballroom and was one of the highlight of this presentation.

With a 1970s vibe, albeit an updated version, the overriding silhouette of this made-to-measure collection was long and lean, with some gowns sporting one-sided peplums and breaking the linear flow of elaborate beading, lace and prints.

“This collection is extremely luxurious in terms of the materials I have used and the technique of work,” explains Bernard. “I was inspired by the Queen of Brunei for this collection as I have been designing for her for the last 20 years. .. she has a great eye for beautiful things and I am in awe of how she combines sportswear with stunning jewellery and elegant shoes.”

Bernard shatters the myth that the queen is conservative in the fashion sense. “She makes everything she wears looks young and refreshing.” With a profusion of colours and prints dominating the main theme of this collection – flower power as Bernard calls it – it was the right mix of different fabrics and textures which worked well together.

Wearable in the day or evening, Bernard states that it’s a collection for those who live and breathe fashion. “When a person loves fashion, there are no rules or restrictions. There’s nothing to stop you from wearing sequins during the day if you wish to.”

And Bernard wishes to reach out to as many people as possible. “My collection is for everybody, all races. The foundation of my Petang Raya collection has always been one which is based on practicality. You can separate the different items and mix and match it with other items in your wardrobe.”

Petang Raya collection is available at Bernard Chandran Boutique in Kuala Lumpur.