Fashion Week: Paola Hernandez Heats Things Up; Candela Gets Shipwrecked


New York-based Mexican designer Paola Hernandez doesn’t usually present her clothes in a standard runway setting, and her show on Wednesday night was no exception. Her “Singularity” Spring 2014 presentation was held at Churner and Churner, a tiny gallery in Chelsea. This was also one of the first collections in which Hernandez used bright bold colors.

We’re not sure if we were sweating profusely because we’re not accustomed to such remarkable use of color at a Hernandez show, or whether it was seeing all those custom-made navy blue heels with red laces. Then again, our heart palpitations could be blamed on the male models. Or, OK, the minimal air conditioning.

Regardless, the place was a sauna. But we stuck around till the bitter end, as we usually do at a Hernandez show. The images really don’t do the clothes justice. Her garments are modern, sophisticated, and exquisite. They are meant for women who like to be comfortable and yet feel creatively put together. Hernandez’s collections always have a meaning behind them, and for this show she says that “Singularity” recognizes the spark that lives in each of our hearts. That spark is evident in each piece.

Our first show at the Mercedes-Benz tents was a nautical-themed presentation by Candela, the label under Uruguayan designer Gabriela Perezutti-Isacson. The first thing that left us flabbergasted was the disarray of hair being teased every which way. We were told that the three different hairstyles were inspired by the story of a woman shipwrecked on an island. Her hair begins in a very tight bun (think sister wives), then comes slightly undone, and ultimately explodes into full-fledged wild-beach-woman.

The collection itself looked as if Rose from Titanic never made it shore, instead washing up on some remote island where she had to resort to creating new styles with her old glittery gowns. Candela beautifully incorporates a ragged edge to her traditional equestrian and gaucho influences. We particularly liked the simplicity of a cropped gray sweatshirt with white lace sleeves and matching knee-length white skirt.