Ra Ra Reals

Ra Ra Reals

Yo, dis is fo realz!  Chck dis shiiiit out!  RA is RAAAAD!

(Sculpture by Irene Alvarez)

Ok, I'm not ACTUALLY going to be talking like that for the whole of the post because that would be incredibly exhausting.  And perhaps, slightly offensive as well.  What I mean to say *ahem* is that THIS IS FOR REAL.

I have FIIIINALLY seen Ra in the flesh, the store I banged on about back in October when I saw it during its rubble and hammer stage.  It's taken a few months but I was lucky enough to go to Antwerp yesterday (back at home in London…I'm very good at whirlwind these days…) and so today, I went and got me some Ra action.  You're not going to be able to stop me from using all kinds of word play with Ra… because it's just too damn tempting.  Ra is Razzy.  Ra is Rad.  Ra Ra Ra for Ra.  You get the idea.

I may have posted some interior pictures already but seeing it from fuzzy polaroids is not really the same as seeing fo realz (oops, I lapsed…) and getting to grips with scale and details.  And there are details and scale in abundance.

Well first off, the space doesn't seem so sparse now that it's filled with STUFF and great stuff, at that.  It's kind of like revisiting a house that has become a home.  What can I say that I didn't already say before… it IS still one of the most exciting fashion retail ventures I've seen to emerge in the last few years.  In terms of selection, space, 'curation' (what modern boutique isn't err… curated to some degree?) and just overall 'feel' (it's unavoidable to be wishy washy with shop experiences), the experience at Ra should give most fashion lovers something to be EGG-cited about.

Let's get familiar with the chicken shed entrance again… no actual chickens in it but there is a Christopher Coppens studio recreation in there for the current Vitrine project in Antwerp.


The opening hall is adorned with Sonny Vandevelde's distinctive backstage photography of the Antwerp Royal Academy show at the moment (sorry for missing the opening party tonight!)…



Let's check that thatched roof cottage till… actually quite teensy inside!


The vintage section is quite superb with Dior (left) mingling with rural Chinese farming outfit (right)… I sort of thought this vintage section might have been inspired by owners Romain Brau and Anna Kushnerova's fashion training at the Antwerp Royal Academy where the historical and ethical contexts of fashion are heavily emphasised in the first two years of schooling…



Some of Antwerp's recent grads are on display at the moment including Alexandra Verschueren who recently won the Grand Prize at Hyeres…


Other grads such as Lena Lumelsky is also selling in store too…


Love her enamel tag…


Like I said, there's a gathering of British-based labels here that I can't quite recall seeing in these quantities anywhere else in London which is a bit bizarre like… Richard Nicoll


Maria Francesca Pepe


My beloved Swash


…who are responsible for these balloon leggings…



John Rocha cut out brogues


Makin Jan Ma… this Hong Kong-born designer gets a lot of love here…


Fleet Ilya's leather accessories…


Then there are the more left of field designers that rarely get whole rails dedicated to them such as… Commuun // Bless


Cosmic Wonder Light Source


Juun J // Frank Leder


Moonspoon Saloon


In accessories, I got very excited/nearly peed myself over…

… the Yuima Nakazato interchangeable leather boots – I still need to REALLY experiment with these // Erickson Beamon for Richard Nicoll fringe pieces…


Uncommon Matters' porcelain collars // Heaven Tanudiredja's gemtastic pieces…


Store aesthetics wise, the recycled felt strip changing room is still there though now I can see you can have a peek inside…


Another refresher of the garden outside on the first floor where plenty of moss and rocks mingle together…


The thing I love about Ra are the unexpected elements.  That fashion isn't presented as in a sterile manner, all being very mono-aesthetic.  Therefore next to preppy clothes from Kitsune Maison, you have some Japanese-sourced labels with super Kawaii dresses and shoes (I hesitate to say Lolita in case I have gotten the terminology wrong….)



Or the Japanophile bits and bobs adorning the CD area…



Nice to see Arale from Dr. Slump makes an unexpected appearance in this fashion haven…


Some people have said the store can feel a little 'Ne Touche Pas' and intimidating but when I went, there was a nice buzz, generated by the attached coffee, books and eating part of Ra… I especially love the little nook where you can chill with tomes and coffee…



I'm hoping you can climb up on the bunk bed for an alternative nook…


Actually as summed in this wee little press pack, Ra is more than just clothes… printed matter, food, music and soil… not a lot more to add to that to get the good life really…


I had to end with Romain's dog which was running around making Ra the weirdly homely shop that just happens to be vast, stuffed to brim with inspiring clothes, wares and little corners.  End of Raving of Ra.  RAvolution.  Ra RageR.  RAzzle and dazzle.  Here we go again…



Leave a comment
  1. trashtastika

    2010-06-12 at 1:33 AM

    I would say those japanese clothes are sweet lolita or hime/princess style 🙂 Love the Alexandra Verschueren gear with the triangular sectioning aka jutty outty bits!

  2. Chloe Michele

    2010-06-12 at 3:28 AM

    Honestly, that place looks like heaven.

  3. Bekka

    2010-06-12 at 4:02 AM

    Omg love this store, so so jealous! Wanted to ask, where are the legging/stockings (not sure which) from? The ones with the hot air balloon print? I love them!

  4. Crystal

    2010-06-12 at 5:09 AM

    Damn I am loving the eclectic-ness of the store. It almost seems museum-like.

  5. Phyllisa

    2010-06-12 at 5:21 AM

    Hmmm, that first photo – Chavin meets Moche and Tiwanku. I think I need to see this!

  6. Blue Floppy Hat

    2010-06-12 at 7:10 AM

    Those powder-blue shoes are Loli (“sweet” Loli) if I’ve ever seen Loli- maybe they’re not marketed here as exactly that, but using that terminology wouldn’t be wrong.

  7. Duck

    2010-06-12 at 8:41 AM

    Ra ra ooh la la

  8. Annie Spandex

    2010-06-12 at 9:28 AM

    I will never get over those balloon leggings.

  9. Sophia

    2010-06-12 at 12:51 PM

    Wow I have to get my butt over there!! It’s absolutely amazing! I don’t get that don’t touch anything feeling when looking at the pics but that can be down to the whole atmosphere. I love this store!! <3

  10. Elena Vasilieva

    2010-06-12 at 2:05 PM

    wow, this is a super long post, very informative too 🙂 this store looks amazing and the clothing is fabulous. love the style, and especially that light green grey dress.

  11. gih

    2010-06-12 at 2:32 PM

    Such a great styles. I also like the place, so cool and clean.

  12. Daisy

    2010-06-12 at 5:38 PM

    are those soot sprites i see in the corner!! oo i love my neighbour Totoro! Mai is the best =D
    is this in london? I’ll deffo give this shop a visit when i next go, i want those lolita shoes!

  13. lou smith

    2010-06-12 at 7:06 PM

    i really like the ra store, i visited there a few months back and came across the hannah marshall line there. love at first sight! the interior of ra is super cool

  14. margief

    2010-06-12 at 7:31 PM

    how lovely are those balloon leggings?? they would cheer up anyone who saw them on someone outside! soo not loving those overgrown baby shoes though:S

  15. Jennifer

    2010-06-12 at 7:33 PM

    wow, the place looks so interesting, i love the rocks&moss, balloon leggings and lolitaesque shoes. i love the randomness of all the things they have.

  16. leonie

    2010-06-12 at 9:31 PM

    hmm, RA.. i just went there last week, was my first time too. i couldn’t even decide what to buy anymore. so i just had a coffee and now i need to go back but i would have done that anyway.

  17. jennifer Yu

    2010-06-12 at 9:39 PM

    What is the address of the store?
    Let me knoww at http://www.pingbuns.blogspot.com

  18. Chyna D'Jae

    2010-06-13 at 3:49 AM

    wow i would LOVEEEE to be there! looks like a taste of heaven!

  19. Miriam

    2010-06-13 at 9:24 AM

    aw the kawaii lolita shoes are supersweet! love the plateau

  20. Sarah

    2010-06-13 at 12:10 PM

    This looks bloody awesome…!

  21. masha

    2010-06-15 at 3:07 PM

    nice clothes! I like so much all this stuff!

  22. Kathryn

    2010-06-21 at 10:58 PM

    DEFINITELY lolita! I spy some Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Emily Temple Cute among other(s). What an unusual addition.

  23. Jonas Deweer

    2011-03-08 at 4:41 PM

    Went there today, but the store was closed 😮

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