Luar RTW Spring 2024

Raul Lopez is an astute observer of culture and people, channeling the nuances of everyday life into his work. “I can people watch forever,” he said the day before his runway show, speaking on some recent travels. During a trip to the Dominican Republic, he observed different groups of people who one might think wouldn’t mix, one side a group of people getting inebriated blasting music from speakers and the other, an outside “church like” service with people taking in the words of a woman at a makeshift podium. “Everyone’s just kind of all together. Both of these sides are looking for the same thing. It’s here, at this intersection, Luar exists,” he said.

The tension between what is thought of as good or bad, redemption mixed with the spiritual, gave birth to a dynamic collection from Lopez. “I wonder if some of these people are searching for something spiritual but then they have a drink and get pulled back in,” he said, a detail he put in the clothing with elongated collars that can be pulled from the back. He called the collection “Socorro,” Spanish for help. It’s also his mother’s nickname, and like his work, the word can take on different meanings.

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He began with a first look made from with a specific yellow hue — reminding him of what the women in his family might wear to church on Sunday to look “rich” — in a short and blazer combo with white tights; it was subversively sexy. Several black skirts had covered buttons; “you can expose as much as you want, it’s conservative with a hit of sexiness,” he said. Those blasting speakers? They sat center on the runway and on a sweatshirt in the shape of a cross. Male models wore oversized suiting and button-down shirts with ties with his “boulder shoulders,” but he’s feeling a collarbone moment, evolving his trademark on a few pieces with a more sculpted take.

He introduced glasses last season, here showing a mix of shapes, again playing with ideas of coverage; “maybe after a wild night you need them,” he said. They lived well with the more straightforward pieces: logo sweatshirts and new handbag updates, including his ubiquitous Ana bag.

Firmly built on community and his Dominican roots, Lopez casts his show as a version of what he sees in everyday life in New York City. “I like to build a world I know,” he explained. As the last show of New York Fashion Week, Lopez — a 2023 LVMH Prize nominee — made a strong final statement for the season, rooted in the grit and culture of the city he calls home.

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Launch Gallery: Luar RTW Spring 2024

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