Raquel Allegra describes her hometown of Los Angeles as the land of “eternal spring” so it’s no wonder that it’s her favorite season to design. After being in business for 12 years, Allegra knows her customer well, but never ceases to learn new ways to make the experience better for both buyers and consumers.
“For spring 2019, I was super focused on making one big story so that the first and second deliveries merchandised together. It’s hard for buyers sitting there to order from two different collections, so I wanted to make it easier for them, which was also a fun challenge for me,” she said.
The prolific designer, who sometimes has difficulty trying to focus her collection — having lots of ideas is never a bad thing for a designer, but editing can be a challenge — started with a rainbow tie-dye, then removed the orange and green to focus on a golden yellow, pale lilac and azure blue.
Her best pieces were the log satin and chiffon-satin dresses that were hand-dyed from both ends, so the top and bottom featured saturated colors that gracefully faded and met in the middle.
Allegra’s woven print stories — a medium she’s only recently begun to use — were taken from a vintage Japanese block-print kimono and an Indian batik. She used these patterns on linen and silk blazers and shirt dresses, giving snazzy options for both suiting as well as elevated accompaniments for jeans and T-shirts. A faded and dip-dyed railroad stripe cotton made for an eye-catching duster coat as well.
The batik silk, as well as her tie-dye, was also introduced in a shoe collaboration with Pedro Garcia. Allegra also introduced newness with her “tailoring jersey,” a heavyweight cotton she uses for trench coats and jackets, now cut into pencil skirts, fitted tank dresses and high-waisted pants.
Noting that her European customer is more receptive to these styles, she’s also pushing the envelope with Lurex knits and even metallic cotton pieces that added a new dimension to her much-loved, tonal layering aesthetic.