Sunday, March 8, 2015


Manish Arora: walk like a warrior.

The riveting Fall/Winter 2015 collections of both Manish Arora and Bernard Chandran paid fitting tribute to female warriors ahead of International Women's Day.

Arora's show, presented on March 5 at Paris Fashion Week, was built around a heroine from a "far away land full of colour and shine". It celebrated characters who'd fought many battles in "shining armour and intricately embellished sweatshirts" and even braved "electric thunderstorms" to reach their goal. 

Manish Arora: warrior swag
The Indian designer featured “fighters” clad in embroidered cloaks and jumpsuits, star-wars-type headgear, woolen kilts and a wide range of exuberant ensembles that one has come to expect from him alone.

Faux-fierce pink feathers adorned the models’ faces and clothing, while brocades and velvet helped to give them the warrior-queen look. Someone dressed like this can only be a leader of course, so should we expect to see women “chieftains” sporting the Manish look in winter?

After the fashion show, the stylist hosted a party at his Paris flagship store in the Jardin des Tuileries area, and some confident-looking ladies were rocking his designs, as they sipped their Cointreau-lemon fizz and listened to the music. The legion even included the female deejay, who wore an eye-catching headpiece.

“He’s just different from everyone else,” said Julie, a tech professional from California. “His clothes make you feel good right away.”

For Bernard Chandran, meanwhile, it’s not the clothes that make the woman, but the woman who brings her personality to what she wears.

Bernard Chandran (photo: McKenzie)
“The ultimate style is to be yourself and to always believe in your own choices,” Chandran told Tasshon backstage after his remarkable debut show on March 7, the day before International Women’s Day.

The young designer said he'd drawn inspiration from the legendary Chinese female warrior Hua Mulan, who was also the basis for the 1998 Disney animated feature. 

“I wanted to show women as strong and not afraid of change, but also as very feminine,” he said of his Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2015 collection. The show featured boldly cut evening dresses worn by models who strode like troopers across the stage, their hair knotted in long braids as if ready for battle.

Chandran's designs
Chandran used industrial metal, leather, stretch knits and fur to get his vision across of the “girl who has to survive against whatever is thrown at her”.

He said he also tapped into his own Asian background to give the collection an Eastern dynamic, explaining that he’s of mixed Indian and Chinese heritage and knows the cultures well.

The selection of colours - black, white, fiery red - and the inclusion of accessories made from huge coins were meant to signal good luck and prosperity and a nod to Chinese New Year, Chandran said.

Presented outside of the official French fashion trade union shows, his warriors got warm applause from all the guests, indicating that his vibrant creations are going to be in great demand quite soon. - Tasshon

Manish Arora: face armour
Bernard Chandran: ready for the day
Manish Arora: colourful heroines