Raquel Allegra is in a nostalgic mood lately, and has revisited her archives to find the essence of her works. “I was thinking about, ‘What is the Raquel Allegra tribe? What are the elements that are defining us?’” she said at the Tribeca showroom where she held market appointments. “So it made sense to go into the archive and pull up the core pieces that, if an RA woman runs into another RA woman on the street, she’s going to recognize her for.” When she first started her label, Allegra looked to African patterns for inspiration. “I grew up really appreciating African art; something that I inherited from my parents,” she said. “My favorite shop to go to after school was the African art store, and it’s just so much a part of what I find inspiring, culturally speaking.” She also cited the work of photographer Malick Sidibé as an inspiration, which was mostly there in the approach to styling the collection.
Allegra is famous for her bold prints and simple silhouettes. Some of the highlights included jumbo-printed check pattern pieces including a dress and jumpsuit, as well wrinkly, gauze cotton pieces. These pieces were then mixed with other fabrics before being garment dyed. The result was an interesting palette as each fabric reacted differently to color. Her signature tie dye print appeared on kaftans as well other sporty pieces. She also leaned towards hand-drawn prints that she had brought from her previous collections. A tree-bark stripe, which was available in white and a dusty pink color, was used on a pantsuit to great effect. A hand-drawn “chest plate” print, inspired by a vintage Guatemalan shirt she’d “had since forever” was used on simple tees and fleece-lined sweaters and cardigans.