Brooklyn-bred designer Raun Larose has made a huge impact on the men’s New York Fashion Week for the past several seasons with his transformative, futuristic style. Vogue Italia hailed him as “Fashion’s Future” for his breakout 2012 collection, yet fashion became a part of his life long before his collections debuted on the runway. As a child, Larose was surrounded by the fabrics, patterns, and the determination of his seamstress mother who emigrated from Ghana. He began to experiment with design as a teenager and quickly realized that his interest went far beyond just what he wore. At age 20, Larose enrolled at the Art Institute of New York City and transferred a year later to FIT where he studied menswear design.
This season, Larose found inspiration in the book “Time Traveler” by Dr. Ronald Mallet. After reading this book, Larose recreated the character of a young man who wants to lead his generation into the future. This young man, and Larose himself, are a part of a new generation of designers from around the world that want to be heard. The collection dubbed “To Whom It May Concern” speaks to the current political climate in America and how it has reverberated around the world. “We’ve come to a place of assurance within ourselves, where we no longer need approval for the way we choose to dress,” explains Larose. This freedom of personal expression is woven throughout his work allowing Larose to experiment with proportion and color as well as political expression.
For fall, men’s puffer coats and billowing track pants are rendered into silhouettes and shapes of ginormous proportions. And it was not just one singular look that featured exaggerated proportions, every look centered on the extreme layering of codified menswear staples. A soft cotton hoodie with an abstract print by artist Sabrina Pohl is tucked into flared denim track pants and topped by a quilted puffer scarf creating an extraordinary, dimensional silhouette. Another look had an oversized, polar eggshell puffer coat with a shearling lined hood juxtaposed over fluid, metallic silver trousers. The look channels one of his favorite artists, Erwin Wurm, and ‘90s hip-hop videos and skate culture all at once. In another look, a bright white hooded sweatshirt over a skewered collar dress shirt is worn over a base layer of a black turtleneck and layered over loose denim trousers with a cinched paperbag waist. Fusing streetwear elements with technical savvy, Larose’s “New Look” is a play on mainstream silhouettes with exaggerated proportions for people who really want to stand out and have something to say.