The scene outside Luar’s spring 2024 show in Brooklyn was shockingly calm—no crushing crowd, gatecrashing or general madness (all of which have become synonymous with Luar runway presentations) in sight. Inside the industrial space, designer Raul Lopez delivered a collection with his usual distinctly unusual point of view. Boxy suiting, gender-fluid outerwear with futuristic shapes and oddball accessories—these are a few of Lopez’s favorite things!
The day prior, Lopez hosted previews in the same building where the show would take place. “Oh my God, this is literally who I am,” he said when asked about the ethos of the entire collection, which was born out of a trip to El Hoyo (“the hole”) region of the Dominican Republic. “I’m very spiritual, but I also like to drop it like it’s hot.”
The collection was full of the Luar staples well-known and even more well-loved, but with a new twist: Skirts and dresses with self-described “weird cutouts.”
“If you see it from the back, it looks super modest, but when you see it from the front, it’s a little sexy,” Lopez added. “You can be both at the same time. Why not?” The clothes were all about “the modest girl becoming a little on the slutty side” mixed with “the hand beading of the women who go to church and want to show out and look their best for the Lord,” Lopez explained. Cream crepe fabrics screamed expensive. “I worked with these Japanese mills to figure out this specific cream color,” the designer said. “It can’t be too lemon, it’s not like a yolk. And when you wear it, you’re like, ‘Wow, you look good.’ You look like you have a lot of cash.”
Twenty-four hours later, Lopez closed out New York Fashion Week for the second season in a row. His brand is celebrated for a very specific kind of structured tailoring—as well as the signature Ana bags, which garnered Luar the CFDA American Accessory Designer of the Year Award in 2022. For spring 2024, Lopez reaffirmed his status of tailor for the ultra cool. The usual shoulder pads you’ve seen in Lopez’s work? Here, they were reinvented with super-tall extensions on the collar. Sunglasses were attached to draped halter tops and dresses, shirts were padded and cuffed with crystal bracelets and maxi skirts came with plenty of beads. It was a masterpiece of duality for a rising designer who is at the nexus between mainstream, high-end, and staying true to one’s roots.
Lopez frequently weaves autobiographical details into his collections. This season, he was inspired by the song “Socorro,” which means “help” in Spanish—but is also his mother’s name. From behind the steering wheel of his car while driving in El Hoyo, Lopez was inspired to confront and redefine redemption through the collection. It was pure storytelling, but also really great clothing with a distinct point of view. Above all else, there was no spectacle for spectacle’s sake—a real rarity these days.