A fusion of style

From oriental tranquility to sensual boudoir, House of Portier designs are a unique and opulent blend of warmth, elegance and sophistication

By Mohamad Kadry (Staff Reporter)

Published: Sun 30 Mar 2008, 10:25 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:33 PM

HOUSE OF Portier, a fine chronicler of the ultimate lifestyle concept in today’s society, was launched in Dubai in a glamorous and elegant event at the One&Only Royal Mirage.

The private launch was attended by elite local and international dignitaries and celebrities. House of Portier is the innovative and natural progression of the experiences and expertise of Puspa Portier, whose designs from oriental tranquility to sensual boudoir are a unique and opulent blend of warmth, elegance and sophistication. For the first time ever in the Middle East, House of Portier launched Malaysian designer Bernard Chandran, introducing him to a market he has eagerly been waiting to infiltrate.

The runaway was ablaze with a fusion of style melding 17th century Paris and Modern day Kuala Lampur. Unique and chic, Chandran is redefining what it means to be fashionable. Born and raised in Malaysia, he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from the Paris American Academy in France. His talent was immediately recognised and even had the exceptional accolade of being the first non-European to win numerous awards during his tenure.

The French trained couturier is best known for his success in bridging the traditional lines of his rich cultural heritage to his contemporary creations. He was the first designer to revolutionise the traditional Malay ‘Kebayas’ and ‘Kurungs’, turning them into modern, fashionable and wearable outfits. A style that combines sharp silhouette and sexy femininity with an edgy slant is immediately apparent through the deft use of exquisite fabrics and custom made embellishments.

Although fashion has always been a part of Chandran, he first faced harsh opposition from his father for wanting to enter an industry he saw as unrespectable and unsustainable. Initially entering the field of accounting, Chandran gave his father an ultimatum. “I told him that I’m a man now, and if I want to be happy I have to be a fashion designer. He was shocked so he gave me three months. After that period, I proved to the school and my father what I wanted and could do, and my teachers convinced him that I should do nothing else but be a designer,” he says.

When it comes to mastery of his art, Chandran sees past the glamour to the underlying notion of what beauty really means.

“Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and if you believe you are beautiful, you will be. I always believed that a woman can be the epitome of beauty no matter what she wears or how she dresses. If she is comfortable with her own body, is confident and knows how to carry herself well. No amount of designer dresses, shoes, bags or bling can bring about the aura of beauty that you exude when you are self-assured and confident of yourself,” Chandran states.

The Tatler Magazine (Malaysian Edition) recently picked him as one of Asia’s 100 most recognisable names and he was recently conferred the ‘Dato’-ship, an honorary title bestowed (equivalent to a ‘knighthood’ in the UK where the receiver carries the title ‘Sir’) by the Sultan of Pahang, Malaysia for his outstanding contributions to the fashion industry.

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