Designer 1-2-1: Radhika Perera-Hernandez

Oct 05 2021. views 160


Relocating from New York to Colombo has seen the founder of Lois London, Radhika Perera Hernandez’s brand grow exponentially. Boasting a healthy global customer base, Radhika’s success story is admirable. Traditionally, Lois London’s collections have been aimed at those with slim and lithe figures. 

Her cleverly draped slinky silhouettes held together with strategically placed spaghetti straps and ties made the wearer look like a lissome goddess. In her new collection recently unveiled on her Instagram the image of a plus-size model beautifully sporting one of her creations shattered the hitherto held myth that Lois London dresses were only for those with pert breasts, washboard stomachs, and towering heights! Stepping out with a mindset that embraces inclusivity the new Lois London collection is not only aimed at those plus-sized customers with voluptuous figures but those who favour gender fluid clothing.

Despite our reticence in admitting and accepting it - we do have a growing community of crossdressers, many driven underground by the narrowminded attitudes of society. For them, the fact that Radhika used a male model to showcase her new collection is not only empowering but has put a taboo subject in the spotlight.

What sparked your interest in fashion design?
The desire to express myself and create an identity through style. Hand making my own clothes was a creative outlet for me.

What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?
Moving to New York and seeing so many young individuals making a career for themselves in fashion was very inspiring, it actually seemed attainable for the first time in my life. 

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?
I’m self-taught.

Your signature style is free-flowing silhouettes. Have you been tempted to veer away from that aesthetic?
There are some form-fitted silhouettes in each collection but I tend to gravitate to a looser and more relaxed fit.

Are there any types of clothing that you avoid designing?
Things that feel a bit too constricted, especially in stiff fabrics.

Where do you look for creative inspiration? 
Everywhere from textiles to home decor. I’m forever browsing on Pinterest.

Describe your latest collection?
An earth-toned capsule in rich hues of rust and amber which layer perfectly for fall or can be worn alone for a special occasion. The collection as always has convertible silhouettes and this season we have focused on more crepe driven fabrics.

Who is your muse?
It varies from season to season. I don’t have just one.

What are your sustainability credentials?
We proudly use upcycled market sourced goods for certain styles in each collection which enables us to have an impact on the fashion’s carbon footprint. 

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
Developing more techniques used frequently in Sri Lanka like batik, handloom, and natural dyeing.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company? 
Don’t give up, persevere and keep getting better.

Your new collection caters to plus size. What made you include plus sizes?
We have always catered to plus size. From the inception, our dresses were free size and could fit 0-16 U.S. In fact, we showcased a plus-size model back in 2015, but the return of that representation in our campaigns is long overdue.

What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
Everything, you can build a brand just on social media alone.

What is your favourite part about being a designer?
The positive feedback from my customers. 

How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?
Confident.

You have used Shan to model your clothes, how important is inclusivity and catering to gender-fluid customers?
I want to create something that makes the wearer feel special, regardless of gender, race, size, etc. Inclusivity has been something I’ve felt passionately about since the beginning and I’m excited to see these boundaries being broken.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tina Edward Gunawardhana

Tina Edward Gunawardhana is a journalist specialising in travel, fashion, lifestyle, cuisine and personalities. She is also the Features Editor for Hi!! Magazine. An intrepid traveller, she likes to show readers the world through her eyes and experiences. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - tinajourno tinajourno@gmail.com


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