NEW YORK – For Singapore fashion label Raoul presenting a collection at New York Fashion Week is well worth the effort and cost; Raoul is fast becoming an Asian label to watch with its stand-alone stores and “corners” in major department stores like Neiman Marcus and Selfridges.

RAOUL spring summer 2014 at new york fashion week DECOR 1

For Spring Summer 2014, designer Odile Benjamin has expanded on her “feel” for the 1960s with a collection of sharp, modern shapes enlivened by strong neon colour, leather, cut-outs and a touch of the three-dimensional embroidery that the brand has been showing for the last few seasons.

Mixing monochrome with neon orange, turquoise blue, muted yellow and grey, the simple shapes of the 60s-style shifts, pencil and A-line skirts and swing jackets stood out; they are wearable – whether in silk or leather – and on-trend by “standing out from the body”, the short length of the skirts runs against the grain of mid-calf or longer seen on many New York runways, but balances the wider shape nicely.

RAOUL spring summer 2014 at new york fashion week DECOR 3RAOUL spring summer 2014 at new york fashion week DECOR 2
Looks from Raoul Spring Summer 2014 presentation at New York Fashion Week. All images: Onin Lorente from Style Anywhere

Adding a more “street” touch to the collection are pieces like a printed silk “sweatsuit” of pullover and track pants in a geometric print; a zip-front leather top and neoprene-like leather separates with large oval cut-outs that are an expansion of the smaller “perforated” leathers the brand has shown previously.

There were a few references to Raoul’s previous collections that while probably very retail-friendly, stood out as being not quite a part of the new collection; a brocade “skater” dress and a shift dress in two-tone leather with addition 3D flower embroidery are more reminiscent of Raoul SS13.

RAOUL spring summer 2014 at new york fashion week SHOESGreat summer shoes from Raoul Spring Summer 2014. Image: Onin Lorente from Style Anywhere

However, the Raoul SS14 shoes were a particular delight this season; bang-on-trend with transparency and micro straps over chunky, low heels or more refined thin heels, the shoes are super fun for summer and great for Singapore’s hot – and wet – weather.

Presented at the Highline Stages in a large, industrial space, the Raoul Spring Summer 2014 collection had a futuristic feel; the slick shapes and bright colours appeared alien in the old, brick building.

This super modernism is a developing calling card for designer Odile; rather than directly interpreting the early 1960s, the addition of technical fabric treatments and the updating of shapes is good direction for the brand as a whole. It seems that Raoul is developing a “voice” – 60s shapes via 70s colours with a touch of 00s streetwear – and it will be interesting to see how this concept develops over future collections.

Raoul boutiques are located at Paragon Shopping Centre and Marina Bay Sands; to shop online, go to You can follow the brand on Facebook at on Twitter at @RAOULFASHION and on Instagram at @raoulfashion.