Emerging Spanish designer Roberto Piqueras brought his bold, neon-accented aesthetic to London last season in a daring DIY fashion show. Hosted outside his Bethnal Green council flat, his Spring/Summer ’22 collection evoked nu-rave, a trend from the mid-2000s undergoing a nostalgic revival.
After relocating from Madrid with sponsorship from an unlikely benefactor, Burger King, Piqueras previewed his line at Primitive Studio. However, his proper debut show transpired on the drab path leading from his apartment complex to the main road. This unconventional venue and presentation embodied the spirit of his vibrant designs.
The styling paired basic leggings and body-con skirts with shirts tied around waists. But the digital prints stole the show, featuring kaleidoscopic graphics and architectural shapes in clashing neon colors. Piqueras cited nu-rave fashion he wished he’d witnessed firsthand as inspiration. People concentrate on the clothes much more when they aren’t bothered if they are bopping their head correctly to an Azealia Banks remix.
While passersby looked on puzzled, models with geometric temporary tattoos on their faces emerged from the block of flats. With no music, only occasional blasts from a horn punctuated the action. The atmosphere uniquely focused attention on the clothes. Creative hair and makeup, including the facial jewelry, further enhanced the futuristic quality.
Piqueras’ oversized knits and dresses depicted melting images of the Queen, playfully blending punk irreverence with patriotic motifs. The hyper-saturated patterns and sci-fi silhouettes evoked a dynamic cyberspace landscape. While drawing from retro rave looks, the designs felt futuristic.
After the finale, local residents who had paused to observe eventually wandered off, unable to comprehend the surreal gathering unfolding around them. For those immersed in it, however, the show induced an almost euphoric sense of creative excitement. By boldly transforming mundane surroundings, Piqueras momentarily convinced attendees they were part of something extraordinary.