Samui Wining & Dining
Chandra Boutiques continue to provide original garments, offering style rather than just fashion.


Just follow the island’s fashionistas wearing the flowing dresses, pretty summer sandals and stylish handbags, and no doubt, you’ll end up at one of the two Chandra boutiques along Chaweng Beach Road. Locals with a sense of style, as well as regular visitors to the island from the fashion hubs of the world, all know Chandra and the brand’s reputation for stylish, yet timeless garments. Barak and Dana, owners and designers at Chandra, are on the right path to success, keeping their clientele ever impressed with their original garments and accessories.

        Chandra designs are elegant and stylish, yet much of the range has a fun element, by incorporating funky prints and quirky accessories. And Barak and Dana prefer using natural fibres such as cotton, rayon and silk, ideal for a hot climate. Dana designs the women’s wear, and the latest range showcases a cotton and silk collection in earthy tones. You’ll find kaftans and tunics, and both mini and maxi dresses, all cut to flatter the female form. A range of white dresses, blouses, pants and singlets balances out the trademark bright print range. Dana explains, “It’s become popular for the

dress code at weddings and other functions to be white, perfect for a beach or poolside party. We’ve had so many requests for white dresses for weddings… and not only from the bride!”

        Chandra’s fashions are unique and not what you’ll find in your everyday clothes store. Their designs carefully play with colours and prints, fabric and cut to create special pieces that flatter the female form. And they haven’t forgotten about men with a love of fashion. While Dana creates the ladies’ range, Barak designs for the men, which includes shirts, pants, vests, tees, and tie-pants in cotton and silk blends, allowing men to look great effortlessly. While most of the range leans towards a natural colour scheme, there are also a few funky prints for the more adventurous – all available up to size XXL.

         You’ll find two Chandra Boutiques along Chaweng Beach Road. Chandra 1 is near Tropical Murphy’s opposite McDonalds and the other, Chandra 2, near the entrance to the old Tops Supermarket. In fact, if you’re standing at the front of the new Central Festival, both stores are only a few steps away. Why the two stores? Well each shop has its own signature. And you won’t find the same merchandise in both. Currently, men’swear is only stocked at Chandra 2. It’s only a five-minute walk between the two stores, so pop into both to get the full Chandra experience.

          Aside from clothing, Chandra also carries a range of accessories, to help complete your look. Most garments in the stores are designed by Dana and Barak, but they also work with designers and manufacturers that they’ve sourced during years of travelling around Southeast Asia. Each piece has been carefully selected to create the look that tells the Chandra story, and the latest accessories range includes colourful oversized Italian leather handbags, designed for Chandra, and made in Hong Kong. They make perfect holdalls, and are ideal for shopping. Smaller bags are available in black, brown and tan, embedded with studs for an elegant evening look. You’ll also find a new range of scarves in silk and cotton, as well as flat sandals and wedges from size 36 to 41, perfect to show off pretty summer toes. Men haven’t been forgotten when it comes to accessories, and they have a choice of leather sandals and leather portfolio bags for a casual work look.

          Chandra is well-known for its range of bikinis, very different to those you’ll find at every other market stand on the island. South American designers were chosen by Dana to feature as the boutiques’ swimwear ranges. The bikinis, crafted from carefully selected fabrics that allow for movement, are cut to impress – these are not bikinis for wallflowers who want to fade into the background. Wear a Chandra bikini and you’ll surely be noticed! What makes them stand out is the intricate detailing work, such as stitching and beading as well as incorporating unusual materials. Most designs are available in two cuts – the regular Western cut, and the more daring South American cut, which reveals a little more of the derriere, yet isn’t quite as risqué as a thong!

          And if you’re in Phuket, be sure to pop in to the newly opened Chandra Boutique located on Surin Beach – home to the hip-and-happening beach club scene. To be around for more than a decade in the fickle fashion business, it seems that Barak and Dana must be doing something right!


 Rosanne Turner


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