The bold brights at Bernard Chandran were the perfect antidote to the SAD (and onset of trench foot) incurred after spending a tad too long queuing in the wet and miserable weather. The show was held in a decadent Victorian ballroom within Northumberland House, which provided a stunning and contrasting backdrop for Chandran’s futuristic A/W’11 offerings.
Block coloured, cinched-in silk dresses and playsuits came in vivid pinks, oranges and reds as well as blues and blacks. Although in singular tones, the designs were made up of different textured panels of material to great effect. This extraordinary attention to detail ensured these designs were at the luxe end of the simplicity spectrum.
Asymmetric peplums were a key theme, lending silhouettes a futuristic edge. Latticed velvet, abundant feathers and embellishment all played their part in preventing the peplums and block colours veering into samey territory. There was also a sporty undercurrent evident in the exposed silver zips, hoods and lace-up boots.
Despite the many high necklines, maxi hemlines and long sleeves, the combination of techniques and materials used (mainly silk, lace, leather and jersey) helped Chandran’s designs radiate effortless sensuality without being revealing.
Maybe it’s because it was approaching lunch, but as the models gathered on the catwalk at the end of the show, the lustrous sheen and clashy vibrant colours reminded me of a tin of Quality Street. Admittedly, there was the odd metaphorical Coconut Éclair – the winged quilted jacket and bright orange feather dress are unlikely to transcend a niche fanbase – but overall, this uplifting collection has cleverly balanced creativity and wearability to provide ample eye candy, whatever your taste.
-Photos and text by Gem Royston-Claire