Back to the future with Rajo Laurel


On his second decade in fashion, Rajo Laurel turns to the future for the shape of things to come.

His spellbinding showcase for Samsung Metrowear Icon: Rajo Laurel, held at the Raffles Ballroom, the designer transformed luxurious fabrics into otherworldly sculptural pieces that are wearable just as they are desirable.

Manila’s fashion and society circles came to celebrate Laurel’s milestone in the industry.

Garbed in his finest creations were Georgina Wilson, Tessa Valdes, Mandy dela Rama, Divine Lee, Isabelle Daza, Steph Zubiri-Crespi, Solenn Heussaff, Stephanie Kienle-Gonzalez, Jessica Kienle and Bianca Gonzalez, to name a few.

Singing the song, “My Favorite Things,” Rajo Laurel opened his own show with much fanfare and delight from the well-heeled audience. It set the tone and mood of the show to a light, airy, ethereal state, matched by the designer’s revolutionary showcase.

Drapes and folds transformed into voluminous capes and goddess dresses, while state-of-the-art textural elements such as suspension tubes found their way in luxurious, red-carpet dresses that marry the avant-garde with the clean, masterful tailoring quintessential of Laurel.

Elegant beadwork adorned delicate fabrics such as tulle, chiffon, and jersey rendered in modernist designs. Hybrid dresses—tulle bodysuits with cylinder skirts were showcased to such artful expertise. Cut-outs and peek-a-boos in clever geometric patterns added a sensual flair to floor-length jersey gowns. A restrained and sober palette of black, white, gray, nude, taupe, and red maintains Rajo Laurel’s classical nature, as his shapes and silhouettes took on a more out of this world route.

For his finale, Laurel presented his Tres Marias, an ode to the modern Filipina bride. With a sheer tulle bodice beaded to sublime perfection topping a pleated organza skirt, Tres Marias modeled by Catriona Gray is a study in lightness and luminosity. The Tres Marias modeled by Valerie Weigmann, however, celebrates volume and architecture, with a white Mikado silk column gown topped by an elegantly constructed circular capelet. With its electric pleating and cording details, the Tres Marias modeled by Bea Soriano presents texture at its greatest form, a mid-length Mikado silk gown finished off with a sheer, pleated skirt. All a study in contrasts well-executed, his finale presented the designer as an artist and a scientist whose technique matches technological advancements, and whose craft merges with the cutting-edge.

In his 42-piece collection for Samsung Metrowear Icon: Rajo Laurel, the designer once again exhibited his skill and talent honed for over 20 years. With movement, architecture, luxurious materials, elegant detailing, revolutionary construction, and artistic contrasts, Rajo Laurel presented an evolution of himself as a fashion icon. A conceptual artist, successful corporate collaborator, and the designer best loved by Manila’s A-list, Rajo Laurel gave us a glimpse of his well-designed future.


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