If we were to compare women of today with those who lived and grew up in the time before the dawn of advanced technology, women of our generation could consider themselves lucky as their path to success and power are not as perilous as what our foremothers have treaded through.
In fact, it is common to see women holding such great power, be in politics or in board room – two competitive dog-eat-dog worlds that for centuries have been traditionally dominated by men.
Nevertheless, even without great power in hand, a woman who dresses immaculately, armed with charming persona, profound self-confidence and determination could effortlessly command a room of powerful leaders.
Highly saluting the women who lead, nurture and raise the next generation of our community, “Wanita Berkuasa” or literally translated as “Powerful Women” serves as an apt moniker to the upcoming Raya Evening collection by Malaysian designer and home-grown fashion label Bernard Chandran.
Modernising the traditional yet iconic Malay female garments, the Baju Kurung and the Kebaya that were among his early interest, Chandran gave the two iconic staples of Malaysian wardrobe an invigorating interpretation befitting the quintessence of Bernard Chandran women: Confident, fashion-forward, successful yet humble and extremely desirable.
Without forsaking the traditional nuances, rather than being a mere collection of ready-to-wear meant to be worn during Aidilfitri, Chandran’s collection is indeed bursting with contemporary elegance and glamour made exactly to fit the lifestyle of global jetsetters, just like a pair of artisanally crafted lambskin gloves.
Utilising carefully engineered cut and craft within the tailoring, the collection pushes the envelope and elevates the redefines the status of both kurung and kebaya – two traditional outfits that have witnessed the revolution of life and the world, pre-dating the arrival of colonial influences i.e. Portuguese, Dutch and British to the shores of Malaysia.
The working palette is laden with bright hues such as orange, blue, turquoise, pink and yellow, and interpolates with futuristic metallic tints.
Modern graphic prints are interpolated with the presence of luxurious textured embellishments, harking back to the usual “uniforms” don by the likes of Bianca Jagger, Diane von Furstenberg, and Diana Ross ― the resident ‘muses’ of the legendary Studio 54. All these features are liberally doused upon Chandran’s fabrics of choices – leather and linen.
A hint of subtle sportiness – an unusual feature for something that is so traditional - is also present within the collection. Case in point: A grey baju kurung worn with a floor-sweeping chiffon cape in matching colour, a baseball cap and big Bernard Chandran initials (BC) emblazoned across the chest.
Another eye-catching look within the collection is the reworked version of baju kurung Kedah with trompe l’oeil approach in the form of biker jacket outline.
Bernard Chandran’s “Wanita Berkuasa” Petang Raya collection will be available at Bernard Chandran boutique.
Bernard Chandran - First floor, Fahrenheit 88, 179 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur