You all know how much I love a brand with a backstory and making your first collection from recycled prison shirts is certainly a good one. Sounds a bit urban fashion legend I know but that’s precisely how A-List favourite, Raquel Allegra got started. Growing up with artisan parents inspired the Californian designer to approach fashion with an experimental attitude. In lieu of learning traditional tailoring techniques Raquel developed her own unique style of fabric manufacture involving mix n’ match textiles, shredding and webbing. But this innovative approach wasn’t all part of Raquel’s plan to be a designer. In fact, I was surprised to learn that she never actually had any intention to work in fashion. Raquel Allegra actually moved to Los Angeles in 2000 with dreams of becoming a singer and, like many aspiring songstresses, found herself taking a job at a boutique in order to pay the rent and making her own clothes out of necessity. But what started out as a personal project using unwanted shirts from the Los Angeles Country Prison System soon captured the LA fashion pack’s attention and mere months later Raquel Allegra designs were being spotted on everyone from Heidi Klum to the Olsen twins. Nowadays her collections stock (and sell out) everywhere from New York to Taiwan and Raquel’s trademark thrifted fabrics sit alongside the luxe likes of deerskin, linene, cashmere and French lace.
I was very pleased to hear the news that this season one of my absolute FAVE shopping destinations, Matches, had enlisted Raquel to design an exclusive capsule collection for them. Admittedly “laid back luxe” and “deconstructed” aren’t usually words synonymous with my personal style but, as you might remember, one of this year’s fasholutions was to take fashion risks and go “less Alexa more Carine”… A little bit of Raquel Allegra for Matches would certainly be a chic way to do it. How hot would the spotted chiffon boxy tee look with a slick leather pencil skirt, bare leg, big sunglassed and skyscraping ankle boots? I feel Ms Roitfeld would approve.
The collection will launch at the end of January but if you can’t wait, click here to shop Raquel Allegra at Matches now.
Love Ella. X