For The Love Of Fashion

Published November 19, 2018, 5:13 PM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

By Liza Ilarde

Archipelago opened with three Filipina supermodels (from left) Ria Bolivar, Jasmine Maierhofer, and Jo Ann Bitagcol stunning the crowd as moving sculptures
Archipelago opened with three Filipina supermodels (from left) Ria Bolivar, Jasmine Maierhofer, and Jo Ann Bitagcol stunning the crowd as moving sculptures
Rajo Laurel (with bouquet) takes a bow with Red Charity Gala sponsor Ben Chan and chairpersons Kaye Tinga and Tessa Valdes
Rajo Laurel (with bouquet) takes a bow with Red Charity Gala sponsor Ben Chan and chairpersons Kaye Tinga and Tessa Valdes
BLACK & WHITE PRINTS These graphic patterns appear to be inspired by the exotic characters of a long-forgotten language
BLACK & WHITE PRINTS These graphic patterns appear to be inspired by the exotic characters of a long-forgotten language

4

TWO-PIECE SEPARATES A dramatic top and a streamlined bottom in a monochromatic shade is the modern woman’s new formal wear
TWO-PIECE SEPARATES A dramatic top and a streamlined bottom in a monochromatic shade is the modern woman’s new formal wear
SPARKLING WATERCOLORS Like an artist’s abstract expressionist painting, colors were splashed onto gowns and encrusted with crystals
SPARKLING WATERCOLORS Like an artist’s abstract expressionist painting, colors were splashed onto gowns and encrusted with crystals
MODERN BRIDE Who says you have to wear something long and classic when you walk down the aisle? Millennial brides will love these
MODERN BRIDE Who says you have to wear something long and classic when you walk down the aisle? Millennial brides will love these
SPACE-AGE TERNO Something from the past is taken to the future with materials one would never think of using
SPACE-AGE TERNO Something from the past is taken to the future with materials one would never think of using
RED-CARPET GLAM Evening glamour is Rajo’s forte, so there were plenty gowns worthy of any charity ball or awards show
RED-CARPET GLAM Evening glamour is Rajo’s forte, so there were plenty gowns worthy of any charity ball or awards show

October 28 was the day after the Red Charity Gala, the day after Rajo Laurel presented his 25th anniversary collection, when everyone was talking about the show. And I was asked: What were your favorite pieces? Hmmm I had to think about that. I was hard-pressed to pick out even just one from the 92-piece collection because, well, there were just too many that I couldn’t recall the ones that made an impact. Because the truth was the entire show was one huge impact—and I guess that was what Rajo wanted to make.

As a fashion journalist, I have been covering Rajo’s shows since his first one held at the now-defunct Mars disco back in the early 90s. From that first show, it was already evident that here was one designer who works throughly on his concept. From his inspiration to the creation to the final presentation, every look is complete. From model to model, from head to toe, from how each piece follows the next on the runway, it is obvious (at least to me) how well Rajo plans each show. So if he wanted to show 92 pieces at the Red Charity Gala, it’s because that is how he planned it.

In the two-minute black-and-white video that opened the show, Rajo tells the viewer that his 25th-anniversary collection is called Archipelago, “essentially an essay… my attempt to define what Philippine fashion is now.” And what Philippine fashion is now is involving the entire country—its textiles, its weaves, its artisans, its stories—and Rajo took his inspiration from there. It seemed like he collaborated with Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, and their people, cultures, colors, and skills, which in the end help define him as a Filipino designer, especially in the international scene, where he wants to say, “I’m from the Philippines, I’m a Filipino fashion designer…these are my people, this is my heritage, and this is the magic that we weave.”

In the video, he talks about being a catalyst for change. “I’ve been a catalyst for good,” he said, concluding with “I’m grateful—what I do is what I love, and I love what I do.” And it really shows that Rajo Laurel loves what he does, so much that he does not know when—does not want—to stop. Never stop, Rajo.

For more info, go to redcharitygala.com, rajolaurel.com

 
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