“The collection is like a palette cleanser,” said Raquel Allegra of her pre-fall offering. “We went a little crazy with the colors for spring, so this is us putting our feet back on the ground.” Allegra took literal inspiration from the world around her — earth, air and water — with a color palette of sky and ocean blue, sunset, khaki earth tones and black-and-white marble. The dip-dye placement was meant to echo a geographical map, with blue meeting black giving the effect of sea meeting land as seen from above.
She took her classic shapes — the tunic, the trenchcoat, the oversize sweater and mixed in some new silhouettes such as a puffed-sleeve peasant top and mini circle skirt or a ruched pencil skirt with a slit up the front. Neck scarves and wraps were also new for this season. Every piece had touches of her signature deconstruction, from the gently frayed shoulders on a sleeveless silk top or the storm flap on a linen trench, to the open threadwork on her sweaters. A slouchy linen blazer was worn inside-out to show the garment dye’s effect on the pin-striped lining and inside panels. Allegra also added some new materials to her repertoire, including poplin, pebble satin, a horizontal weave cotton knit and a plaid-textured gauze.
As always, the effect was chic hippie nomad, especially when the featherwight gauze and silk pieces were worn layer upon seemingly endless layer. As always, Allegra included a screen-printed sweatsuit in the collection, this time sporting the logo “El Lay,” a tongue-in-cheek play on her hometown Los Angeles, printed over a classic palm tree postcard graphic.
Said Allegra, “I always ask myself, ‘Would I wear this?’ of every piece, so that it’s honest. A lot of people design to design, but I design to survive.”