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10.15.2010

Under De-Construction at Venu by Alexandra Cavallo | September 29, 2010

When I walked into Venu (five minutes fashionably late) for DH Studios Inc's Under De-Construction show last night, Shakira was singing about being with together with her man whenever, wherever. She was still going on about it over an hour a half later when a host stepped to the mic and announced that the show would start....soon. By that time, frankly, even Shakira seemed to be having some doubts about when it would all go down, if ever.

Not that most of the very young, very animated crowd milling around the dimly lit room seemed to mind. Complimentary cocktails (no wonder everyone was so pleased, I purchased a thimble-sized vodka soda for a staggering twelve dollars before a be-suited man to my left, looking aghast, got me a drink voucher) in hand, a coterie of DH Studios' founder and designer Daniel Hernandez's friends and admirers alternately pecked at their smart phones and chattered excitedly amongst themselves. A smartly dressed Hernández himself darted about the crowd, greeting guests and making last minute seating adjustments. Seeing how involved he was in his own production, I had to forgive him his tardiness. Still, when a champagne bottle popped behind the bar, causing a man behind me to shriek involuntarily, I knew I wasn't the only one a bit on edge. And then, as if heralded by the bubbly, it began.

Hernández, a transplant from Colombia who studied at Boston's School of Fashion Design on Newbury Street and New York's F.I.T.'s study abroad program in Paris, has been designing clothing since he was seven years old. He opened the show himself, speaking briefly about his long road to Boston Fashion Week, and then revealed a surprise. Hernández tapped a young designer, who he introduced merely as "Isabel" who has a shop "either in East Boston or Revere" to open his show for him, as a testament to his dedication to community involvement. Isabel, looking a bit shell-shocked, sent four very sparkly, very flowery dresses down the runway. All were greeted with cheers and thunderous applause, a testament to just how dedicated Hernández' community is to him. And then, finally, the real show began.   

Fitted, fluid jersey, mostly in black and muted grays and browns, made up most of the 25 or so looks that stalked down the runway. Hernández designs urban sportswear that can be dressed up or down, accordingly, marked by sleek lines and a note of decided sassiness that, as my favorite fashion critic Nina Garcia would say, "is sexy without being vulgar." Which, of course, is the only kind of sexy to be. The models all had large costume pearls wound around their necks, teased hair, and dark, dramatic eye make-up. The two lone male models (one of whom stripped down to some very fashionably sculpted abs mid-show) sported a variety of fitted t-shirts and tailored denim, so well tailored that I had to wonder if perhaps Hernández's talents lie in men's sportswear. Many of the jersey hoodies and fitted tees, paired with tailored trousers and tiny shorts, were embellished with the insignia "Detaile de Couture," in the vein of Juicy Couture, with a lot less pink. The most popular, and eye-catching designs, though a bit incongruous amongst the sportswear looks that filed past, were unquestionably the eveningwear. One black satin dress, its hem just grazing the knee, fell off the shoulder in a modernized nod to the 80s. The Pièce de résistance of the evening, though, was a floor-length, elegant evening gown, which spoke to Hernández's loftier aspirations...and some very chic sensibilities not always evident in his more urban looks. The gown was delicately detailed, demurely placed sequins flashed about the dress' rouched top and deep-cut back, as the model pivoted slowly for the cameras at the end of the runway.

On the whole, the 2003 Young Entrepreneur for Massachusetts and New England's show was well orchestrated and exciting, if not strictly professional. The crowd whooped and cheered for every look, encouraging the models to mug for the cameras. (And encouraging the other male model to strip down to his own abdominals.) Just before one model was set to step on the runway, her string of pearls snapped. Disaster? Without missing a beat, Hernández tangled the broken strands around her hands, and she came out with the pearls dangling effortlessly from the ends of her fingers like intended props. The model from Burberry's recent show could have taken her cue from this playbook.

 

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Boston, MA, United States
Curious about the modeling industry? Want to know more about what to do and what not to do when starting a modeling career? From commercial photography to runway Daniel Hernandez will share with you what sixteen years of experience working Boston, Paris and New York has taught him. The modeling industry has changed significantly in recent years and agencies and independent bookers are looking for more than just America’s Next Top Model. This class will explain the process of making the most of a go-see, how to create a comp card and a basic portfolio. Whether you are looking to learn about the modeling industry in Boston, or just curious about the scene, we will include a database with local modeling agencies, photographers, stylists and makeup artist to help you decide if the next step is for you or not.

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