There was an air of romanticism that enveloped the ballroom of the newly unveiled St. Regis as guests sauntered in for the much anticipated ‘Petang Raya’ showcased for the 10th time by Dato’ Bernard Chandran. “Everything looks so beautiful,” says Kavita Sidhu, who is seated next to me, “it is so typically Bernard. He is such a perfectionist.” In his latest incarnation, complete with long locks, stepping out to take a bow, Bernard emerges like mystical hero from a romance novel.
As we sit down, the 360-degree projections that surround the venue, give us a hint of what is to come as scenes from the film Hero featuring actress Zhang Yiyi in complete oriental regalia are displayed. As the creations are slowly showcased to an audience comprising royalty and members of the gentry, we are taken through a rich display of craftsmanship, symbolic of our Asian heritage.
“I was really inspired by an Oriental exhibition,” Bernard says of his collection. “This time I really challenged myself with prints and Chinese embroidery. For one outfit, I even used nine different prints. I did a lot of research on Chinese opera but I did my own version or interpretation of how I see it in today’s modern world. I had to look at what international women would want to wear. It was oriental but contemporary.”
More of the interview in the June issue of Prestige Malaysia