On the final evening of New York Fashion Week, high above the city on a rooftop in Brooklyn, Raul Lopez’s LUAR showcased their SS24 collection, Socorro. From the onset — before the first look even graced the runway — there was an essence of duality that permeated through the air. Perhaps it is best found in its title, which both happens to be the name of his mother and the Spanish translation of “help”, or how the brand’s close knit, intimate community filled the space of a vast, seemingly unapproachable open warehouse-style space. Maybe it was the large tire in the middle of the rows of seating, reminding us of the classic story of the fork in the road. The collection itself epitomises these dualities and ponders the idea that when all is said and done, we might all be searching for the same core things.
Drawing inspiration from a memory driving to his best friend’s house in a region of the Dominican Republic known as El Hoyo (translating to “the hole”), Lopez reflects on the division surrounding him. Looking back on how his car sat in the middle between a preacher and her sermon on the left and risque dancers drinking and doing drugs on the right, he poses the proposition that perhaps both sides were on more of a common ground than they believed. Both looking for their version of heaven, for a saviour. Socorro muses, “We’re all looking to be saved but what does that really mean? By whom? From what?”
As LUAR catapults into success, quickly climbing to the top of the industry’s favourites, Lopez considers the dualities of his own life. Remaining connected to his roots while continuing to explore new experiences, he seeks the perfect balance — the ability to exist in his car between the left and the right. As both sides push and pull him, he maintains an equilibrium, thriving in the dualities.
The collection reflects these concepts through detailing and silhouettes — from the robust collars that reference feeling chained to something to the crackled leather evoking El Hoyo, to the long skirts that challenge modesty. In embedding these ideas into garments, Lopez personifies the concepts, giving strength and power to their every move. As the models walk the runway, they bring life and dimensionality to the dualities of everyday life — and remind us that sometimes the saviours we’re looking for are within ourselves.
Keep scrolling for BTS photography by Paige Powell…