Year - 2019/SS20

Brand - RAW WAR by Antoinette Raphael

Photography - Ethan Blackburn Photography

Models - Antoinette Raphael, Tarquin Myburg, Kai Fukumoto.

Location - Palace Arcade, Perth CBD, Western Australia.

PUZZLED BY RAW WAR. March - June 2019.


What does ‘Puzzled’ even mean when RAW WAR is expressing this concept in their clothing? How did the P word ‘POWER’ turn into ‘Puzzled’? Puzzled is an adjective to describe a situation which is “unable to understand;” whilst being a descriptive emotion of a human where they “feel confused because they cannot understand something.” Stereotypically being puzzled doesn’t have powerful connotations but I will tell you how it does. 


Being puzzled from a situation, a person, or an emotion, is based on a powerful human’s ability to challenge and unconditionally believe in their perspective. Thou who do not challenge or question situations they come across merely just believe changes without gaining knowledge of why, how, when, and what. Being puzzled on another party’s behavior or actions ultimately means that an individual has noticed the other party’s loss in genuine nature or the gain in genuine nature, which reveals their fake identity from the beginning. Thou individual, who observe this action and change, are truly a genuine and powerful nature of being. 


Feeling puzzled can also express individuals reflecting on themselves: where they are, who they surround themselves with, and the direction they are currently taking. Being puzzled in this circumstance means looking to the past and present, to analyse what the future holds. This is a completely healthy exercise which shows how important the purpose of this individual’s life is to themselves, personally. 


The feeling of ‘Puzzled’ should never be looked upon as negative in connotation, instead should be shone a light on in emphasis of how powerful it is to question our situations and surroundings in order for us to never be naïve or oblivious to the truth.  


Visually, the word ‘Puzzled’ can be represented through the most obvious motif: the puzzle piece, jigsaw puzzle. As a noun, it is “a game, toy, or problem designed to test ingenuity or knowledge; a jigsaw puzzle.” Yet again, the noun of this word also represents RAW WAR’s perspective on puzzled emotions with powerful backgrounds.  Life’s situations and circumstances can be related to a jigsaw puzzle. Every individual has their own ‘bigger picture’ they are trying to create with every movement they make. Each move you make plays a role in how the bigger picture will turn out. Through difficult times, the bigger picture is merely impossible to view, however the faith in its leader will allow perseverance throughout the duration. 


The above rationale I have just mentioned is only just an extension of where my initial inspiration first came from. The inspiration for this collection was actually from my younger brother, Jacob. He had an obsession with puzzles due to his autism and currently owns around 50+ puzzles. I remember clearly how he would have each one of them placed on our coffee table, ready to pick up, tear apart, and place back together. An array of different images, sizes, and shapes would adorn the table. The repetition of these games became so normal to my sight, until one day. I began to study the shape of a single jigsaw puzzle while held in my hand. I illustrated this shape; I photographed this shape, and collaged this shape. This study resulted in the creation of this mini collection titled ‘PUZZLED BY RAW WAR.’