The evolution of the Kaftan from an exotic beach side companion to wardrobe must-have is emulated by the culmination of tasteful opulence defined by Lois London. Modernly envisioning the floaty fabric, traditionally worn as a long flowing robe or overdress, as an embellished gown or a suited jumpsuit, Lois London is a designer’s vision of silhouettes accented to individual tastes.
Connecting the wearer with her inner goddess; intricate beading, rich colors, airy fabrics, and luxurious draping make for an exceptional addition to every modern woman’s wardrobe. Inspired by a huge loss in her life, the tragic death of her grandmother, father, and brother, who she lost in her early twenties, designer Radhika Perera Hernandez found solace in The Tibetan Book of Life and Dying. In her journey towards healing, her experience helped her reconnect with her inner aspirations.
Paying homage to Sri Lanka, her collection of modern kaftans illustrates the story of this beautiful country, Hernandez states, “Sri Lanka is the most beautiful place in the world to me. From its winding country roads, lush jungle landscape, to its mesmerizing historical Buddhist ruins. No matter how old I am, I’m still in awe when I am there. When I was a child my family would take trips to the countryside and visit gem mines where we would see sapphires the size of gold balls. Sometimes, simply driving through the winding roads of Sri Lanka can manifest the most beautiful sights; elephants and monkeys, Buddhist temples and monks, it’s a country filled with bright colors and wafts of tropical sea-air. I am proud to be a product of that.”
Does fashion ‘make’ the person or does the person ‘make’ fashion?
I think fashion can transform the wearer but that does not mean it “makes” a person. It’s the blend of your energy and your style that create a unique fashionable moment.
How would you describe your style?
An eclectic fusion of vintage and contemporary. It is strong and bold, yet classic and makes a lasting statement. My style definitely reflects how I feel each day.
How do you get inspiration for your style?
Through vintage finds and researching new trends in the market via blogs, etc. I love to shop vintage stores in Los Angeles, London, Miami, little known areas in the central United States—and open air markets in Sri Lanka, different parts of Africa and the Middle East. Some of my favorite vintage shops in the United States include RARE Vintage New York and Decades in Los Angeles.
What does it take to become a style innovator?
It takes a person who is true to themselves and stands by their own vision.
What’s exciting right now in fashion?
The emergence of new independent designers who have so many viral outlets. You can independently create a brand and launch your website, twitter page and blog etc. That’s exciting. Creative freedom.
Who or what has been your greatest fashion influence?
New York City has been my greatest fashion influence, it’s a place I find inspiration every day. During just my daily travels on the train, I encounter amazing color, texture, cultural influence and personal style. The city is like aesthetic stimulation for creativity. My designs are also influenced by my own heritage though.
Who are your favorite designers, and what is it that you love about them?
Stephane Rolland is a designer who I keep my eye on. He was with Balenciaga and now has his own line. To me, his sculptural designs are true pieces of art. Very inspiring.
What is the highlight of your ‘style’ career?
The highlight of my “style” career was putting my training to work and beginning this collection. Special moments that stand out are the first time I was photographed by Style.com while attending the Glastonbury Festival in the UK, and the first email I received from a potential customer expressing interest in one of my designs. And the first time I found the courage to share my designs with my friends and family.
Every fashionality has as a style obsession, what’s yours?
I’m obsessed with the 70’s, always have been.
Do you follow any fashion blogs? If so, what are they and which would you recommend?
I follow many but a couple I love are:
LOVERS IN VAIN: loversinvain.blogspot.com
STUDDED HEARTS: studdedhearts.blogspot.com
What item of clothing (if any) do you wish that people wore more often?
Kaftans, they are effortlessly chic and can be worn almost anywhere. I think they are under utilized.
To be stylish is to be fashionable. True or False and why?
People consider those who are “fashionable” to be over the top and fashion forward. But to me, those who are stylish, can be so under the radar, with subtle details and accessories. Putting together an outfit effortlessly is stylish.
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