Street But Elegant. Luar AW23

On the last day of New York Fashion Week, Luar presented one of the best very collections the city had in offer this season. Commotion descended onto the streets of Brooklyn as editors were forced to jostle with members of the public in order to get an eye on whatever Raul Lopez was about to showcase. But that’s precisely the level of demand that the designer triggers with his fashion moments. This is because he brings something actually new to the table, rolling back the film on his upbringing and transforming those memories into luxurious, refined designs. The first glimpse of the autumn-winter 2023 collection came via Instagram, where the designer shared a photo of an ornate sofa covered in the same plastic wrap used by Latin American households to keep their furniture fresh. It was embroidered with the words “calle pero elegante” (meaning“street but elegant”), which is the quintessence for Lopez’s approach to design. On the runway, a diverse and beautiful mixture of street cast and professional models emerged from a mirrored maze carrying supersized iterations of Luar’s signature Top Handle handbag, dressed in marvelous sculptured coat-dresses with flecks of feathery antennae sprouting from hair. Hulking shirts lurched from their shoulders and leather windbreakers had been cinched in at the waist with diamante-studded belts. Sweaters, bomber jackets, and ball gowns were treated as one and the same; cut into video vixen cocoons with cloaking hoods and tapered waists. The menswear doubled down on that bold, triangular silhouette, with blown-up shoulders on denim jackets and pinstriped blazers giving way to spliced skirts and wide-legged jeans. That’s the energy I missed in most of the New York shows. Luar saved the week with ferocious grace.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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