Hernan Lander (8)

Designer Hernan Lander held a private viewing of his Spring 2010 Collection at his studio right across from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).  After showing at Gotham Hall during New York Fashion Week, Lander opted to make his clothes more accessible to press and buyers by allowing them to view his designs in the very place where they were first created.

Francesca Simon, Managing Director for iConcept Media Group, the organization handling Lander’s Public Relations, explained her decision to become involved in the development of this designer. “Following the fashion show, the clothes were so incredible, I felt people needed to see them up close.”

By viewing the garments in this way, buyers and press were able to gain insight into Lander’s design aesthetic.  One wall was covered with dozens of sketches and fabric swatches.  Hernan’s shoe collection was displayed on a table in the back of the studio, positioned near his sewing machines.  Two models alternated trying on different looks, while staff members delved into fabric and styling choices.  The whole process was highly organized and low-key.

The Dominican-American designer was very inspired by African culture, and incorporated several themes into his garments. Simon explained his goal of maintaining a balance between nature and industrialization.  Upon receiving a photograph of a child Hernan had been sponsoring, the young designer was shocked to see the child playing with a zipper instead of an actual toy.  From this image, Hernan decided to integrate the zipper into a major aspect of his collection.

Hernan’s clothes are quite sellable, primarily due to their marketability to women of different shapes and sizes.  In choosing neutral colors such as black, white, and cream, Hernan aims to reflect the nature in Africa.  By adding gold metallic detailing, his designs begin to stand out.  Women will also enjoy wearing these garments because they flatter the curves of the body.  Through draping flowing material, women can hide imperfections or insecurities they have with their own bodies.  For those who are flat chested, Hernan has created gowns with intricate detailing that instead draw attention to their back.

Women can wear Hernan’s clothes as separates or they can mix and match one or more garments together.  One standout piece is a white vest with black zippers in a crisscross pattern.  Lander’s clothes are full of contrasts; they are edgy and feminine, hard and soft, classic and bold.  The silk wool and jersey fabrics allow Hernan to create different looks, all flattering the body while staying true to his theme of nature and industrialization.

Lander is very well known in the Dominican-Republic, where he dresses and styles celebrities.  At the end of October, he will unveil his newest collection, a menswear line made in comfortable jersey material.  He also plans to take his jewelry sketches to the next level by incorporating them into future collections.  Hernan has previously collaborated with designers Rogelio Velasco and Ralph Lauren.  He worked for Donna Karen before developing his own line.

– Megan McDonough