Royal designer talks couture

National 1 minute, 55 seconds


THE royal bride’s glamourous brocade gown took centrestage yesterday during her nuptials to His Royal Highness Prince ‘Abdul Malik at Istana Nurul Iman.

YAM Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah Pg Hj Bolkiah’s gold-embroidered ensemble was designed by none other than renowned Malaysian designer Dato Bernard Chandran, couturier to the Brunei royal family for 19 years.

Chandran counts singers Rihanna and Lady Gaga among his clients, as well as the Malaysian royal family.

On the sidelines of the royal _bersanding _ceremony yesterday, he spoke to _The Brunei Times _about the process of designing couture pieces for the wedding.

“Her Majesty (the Raja Isteri) introduced me to the bride so I got to know her and I took back some traditional fabrics that were chosen by Her Majesty and the bride,” he said.

“You have to meet the bride in person to understand her style and exactly who she is… I think she’s very shy, very delicate. So the dress had to be something light but at the same time it had to look fabulous.”

The final product was a two-piece outfit made from gold-threaded jong sarat (brocade), featuring a tiered skirt embroidered with a delicate lace overlay to match the veil.

YAM Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Raabi’atul ‘Adawiyyah completed the ensemble with a glittering diamond-and-emerald necklace and tiara.

“When you are talking about the royal family, they have a lot of traditions and culture but they also want to be updated with a modern twist.

“I designed according to things that look good on her, and of course to follow the protocol as well, and to choose the right colour with the jewellery. It was an amazing process - it was beautiful and fun,” said Chandran.

The designer, dubbed Malaysia’s “King of Fashion”, has been creating outfits for Brunei’s royal amily for 19 years, and has made gowns for previous royal weddings.

When asked whether the bride was excited or nervous on her wedding day, Chandran replied: “She appeared to be nervous but at the same time she’s a very confident girl otherwise she’d never be the bride of the prince. Deep inside, I see that she is quite a confident girl, of course because she’s marrying into the royal family.”

The Brunei Times