Raquel Allegra has been in a nostalgic mood as of late, revisiting her archives to get to the essence of her work. “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 known for her bold prints and easy silhouettes: Highlights included jumbo printed check pattern pieces, including a jumpsuit and a slip dress; as well as super light pieces is wrinkly gauze cotton, some of which were mixed in with other fabrics, then garment dyed, which gave them an interesting tonal palette, since each fabric reacts differently to the color. Her signature tie dye prints appeared in kaftans and other sporty separates, and she leaned into hand-drawn prints, which she brought back from previous collections. A tree bark-esque stripe was used to great effect on a pantsuit which came in both white and a dusty raspberry color. 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.