In a city where dining experiences “pop-up”, sales flash, and oysters are a tasteless travel ticket, fashion has had to break from a light jog into a sprint. Ready for submersion into a harsh urban sphere, Bernard Chandran’s AW14 collection channels all of the strongest parts of menswear tailoring, with the cinching and finesse of women’s wear.
Designed to “transform the wearer in less than 30 seconds”, the collection focuses on slip-on, resilient day-to-night looks. Sleeveless metallic waistcoat dresses, funnel neck leather jackets and floor length panelled outerwear give effortless and empowering style in a flash. “It’s all about the one look”, says Chandran. He designs for, and dresses strong women, typically levering his collections to accentuate the female form and the wearer’s status, this season being no exception.
Using detailing to cleverly reveal and mask parts of the body, onlookers are flashed skin through PVC strips, yet left unable to see the more delicate features which are hidden under mesh veils, high collars and scuba zips. Autumn / Winter’s rich jewel tones were prevalent throughout. Metallic fuchsia and opulent emerald gemstone shades were neatly tied with utilitarian staple white, black and grey tones. Perhaps referencing the power-dressing pallet of the 1980’s, tan was also freshly twinned with cobalt blue.
Fabrics were used tactically; structured fabrics such as leather and perspex being used on the more lady-like shapes and conventional feminine textures such as brocade being cut for the slightly more androgynous pieces. Chandran’s modern women carried minimal, nude make-up with the exclusion of a bronze toned highlighter, which aligned with some of the sheen fabrics from the collection. Hairstyling was honestly parted, yet pulled back to mimic the seasons strict lines.
Bernard’s vision for style lets “the garment speaks for itself” whether his wearer is a housewife or a CEO, the collection creates the perfect guise that is now demanded of women’s wear.
Bernard Chandran, London Fashion Week, 15 February 2014.
1. Courtesy of Bernard Chandran.