September 17th, 2014

BTS Holiday 2014 De Chine – Look book shoot

With each collection we do comes a very special photo shoot.  This is where the vision becomes more tangible and where all the ideas comes into fruition.  The saying that it takes a village to create fashion is so true with this part of the fashion process.  There are so many hands involved all going toward to the same direction that often it becomes extremely exhausting.  However with the fatigue is overcome with each beautiful image we have achieved.  The final images will all be posted on my website at www.rajolaurel.com  However I would like to share with all of you some of the “Behind The Scene” photos from the shoot.

I have to say that after so many years in the industry I still get very nervous & anxious with each step.  Although I have complete faith in my team there is still the feeling of having butterflies in my stomach. LOL!  Do take a peek into what happens behind the glossy images of our “De Chine” look book shoot.

A huge heap of thanks to Arnel Papa for lending me his amazing pieces! You are truly an artist!

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September 9th, 2014

My 8th Star Magic Ball- experience

I have had the pleasure of dressing up some of the biggest names in the Philippine entertainment industry via the Star Magic Ball!  The brain child of one of my dearest friends Keren Pascual.  From day one I was fortunate enough to have been able to dress the most beautiful women in our land.

This year was very special as I was tasked to dress up some of my very personal favourites in the industry.  First was my dear cousin Denise Laurel who I am extremely proud of.  I wanted to do something sleek, simple and severe. We opted to create a gown in a platinum almost gun metal grey stretch Charmeause which we cut into a deep plunging neckline.  I then added a crystal suspension chord which echoed the detail action on the back.  I love how the dress turned out because it was simple but interesting at the same time.  The line of the dress also made Denise look taller and accented her killer curves.

The second dress was for Julia Barretto.  I have been a huge admirer of this young lady’s beauty for quite some time now and when Liz asked me to dress her up, I jumped at the opportunity!  Again I wanted something very simple.  I have always believed that the dress should be worn by the woman and not the other way around.

I wanted to use this Dove grey  bonded foam material which made the dress move and look extremely modern.  Liz told me that Julia wanted to shine. So, I thought what better way to do shine than in Swarovski crystals.  These crystals really capture the light.  I was so thrilled beyond belief that Julia ended up winning the best dressed award that night.  A testament to my team’s talent and skill.  I am so proud of my team as we all work so hard to make all these beautiful creations and the recognition that evening was something I will share with everyone in my staff.

Finally I got another chance to dress up Mrs. Tootsy Angara who is one of my favourite clients.  I love her innate style and kindness. It is always such a joy to work with her because she embodies this energy of modernity yet she is very modest and practical at the same time.

I loved what we came up with which was a not to the mid-century vibe but still looked very modern and timeless at the same time.  I just wanted to share with you some images from our process and what the final results look like.  To everyone in my team BRAVO!!!!!  You all deserve the credit without you my dreams and visions would only remain as such.  It is by working together that we make all this a reality.

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September 2nd, 2014

A peek into BENCH’s “The Naked Truth “

In less than 17 days one of the most anticipated fashion events in the land will occur.  This is Bench’s bi-annual denim and underwear show that literally shocks Manila to the core.  I was privileged enough to have been invited to a sneak peek at what Bench will be doing.  The show’s title is called “The Naked Truth” and there was a lot of real honesty in the air.

The little show introduced everyone the new Bench endorsers to everyone.  I really loved the show and I cannot wait to see what will be happening on Sept 19!  A little bird told me that they will be flying in a slew of Amazing male supermodels from all over the world.  This one is going to be the show that no one should miss.  In the mean time let me share with you some of the photos that I was able to take from the sneak peek.  ENJOY!

Happy to see my friend Anton in the preview. He has been my friend for more than 30 years!

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August 27th, 2014

The EMMYS 2014 Red Carpet Review #2

I normally don’t like patterns on the red carpet but this Peter Som gown on Julie Bowen really works.

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August 27th, 2014

The EMMYS 2014 Red Carpet Review #1

At the recent EMMYS 2014 red carpet there was a clear trend of REDS & WHITE dresses!  It’s really interesting when everyone thinks alike and come up with practically the same looks.  As a fashion lover the red carpet’s always a great indication of what the market will want and positively respond to.  It’s also a way to see dresses outside the runway.  Either way it’s good watching and will be giving my colour/peanut gallery comments in this entry.  Enjoy the images!

OMG! I remember Anna Chlumsky as a very young actress now look at her all grown up in Zac Posen. I love the clean and classic lines.

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August 22nd, 2014

Holiday collection 2014 Moodboard – “De Chine”

I am so excited and thrilled to share with all of you our mood board for our Holiday collection 2014.  The collection is entitled “De Chine” if you translate this in English it would mean in my mind “Of China”.   We have been preparing for this collection for almost six months now and in a few weeks we will be ready to unveil the entire collection.

In the meantime I would like to show you where this all started and what our design journey is all about.  I have been sourcing in China for several years now and each time I go I get to see a facet of China that is always intriguing.  I wanted to delve into my interpretation of China and what this means to me.  China is such a powerful country now and their presence is so over powering and I wanted to harness this into a fashion collection.

I wanted to find a way to interpret this into my design vocabulary and see where this would take me.  I first started our getting a story together in my head and I wanted to explore the 1940′s attitude to the collection but from a very Chinese mentality.

In was very interesting to see where it lead to as from the start it was quite literal but then as we were developing the patterns and samples the collection went to a brand new direction that reminded me of Ungaro and YSL in the 80′s.  Me and my team were laughing that this collection is so the ante thesis of the “NORMCORE” trend that is happening at the moment!  I guess because it’s the holiday season and it’s the time to party and celebrate and the collection that we have prepared aims to cater to our clients for this.

Do take a look at our mood board and perhaps you too will get inspired with what’s to come for the HOUSE OF LAUREL!

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August 12th, 2014

PLANT Magazine!

I am so thrilled and excited to share with you the images of PLANT magazine where I am on the cover of their fashion issue.  It’s a double issue featuring an insiders featuring the hottest in Fashion and Dining in the Rockwell mall.    The magazine is really quite excellent with super cool tips and a wealth of information.

The best thing about this is that the magazine is FREE!!!!!  I just wanted to share with you the fantastic photos of Joseph Pascual as he really made look pretty decent.  I also loved the words of Jed Gregorio as he really got into my psyche and my world.  I would also like to thank Raymond Ang for putting this all together.  I really appreciate it all.

I suggest you all head over to The Power Plant mall in Rockwell and get your free PLANT magazine!  Some of the best things in this life are indeed FREE!  LOL!

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July 28th, 2014

SONA 2014!

The SONA or the State of the Nation Address means so much to many people.  In my world it simply means that we get to work. I am deeply grateful for this as it really ensures that my team has work!  I was had a TV interview about my work for the SONA and they asked if there is any “political” messages in the dresses that I make?

That the colours have meanings and messages?  To be honest that did not even cross my mind.  I am here to make my clients beautiful.  The designs that we make for them are all very personal and special.  The SONA for me is important because it gives us designers the opportunity to celebrate our heritage and our culture. It is very rare nowadays when we get to wear our Filipino attire.  Ask yourself?  When was the last time that we wore something FILIPINIANA?

Because of this I choose to concentrate on celebrating our artisans and craftsmen like our bearers, embroiderers, cutters, sewers, ironers and many more. Every person that has touched these garments are all Filipino.  It is a celebration of who we are as a people and this is what I was concentrating on when I made my SONA gowns.

I am sharing with you some of the gowns that I did because I am extremely grateful and proud of my team for being able to make these ideas and dreams come true.  I am also deeply thankful for the ladies who have trusted me in making these dresses for them.  On that note enjoy the red carpet and see how amazingly creative we Filipinos are.  Because we’re really good!

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July 25th, 2014

Ariel Aid Couture!

I was recently invited to a really cool project called “ARIEL AID COUTURE”  It’s one of those projects that just has a “win-win” situation.  All you have to do is to show up on August 2 & 3 at  Glorietta Activity centre and shop from a really cool selection of pre loved clothing.  Now I was invited to  ”style” some of the pieces that they had and I have to say the selection is pretty cool!  The whole process brought me back to my design school days were I would “repurpose” vintage clothing and try to make something cool about it.

I just want to encourage all of you to come and help out.  Remember that it is always in fashion to help!  See you there.

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June 26th, 2014

The Game of Thrones wedding!

One of my most closest friends recently celebrated their 20 years of marriage. Dennis and Tessa Valdes celebrated this milestone like only they can.  When Tessa told me that she was using the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones” as a theme I knew that this was going to be something for the books!

When Dennis or more appropriately Tessa thinks of a project she goes full on and takes the idea into the next level. Their wedding anniversary was really memorable as 90% of the guests really came in full costume and enjoyed the festivities.  Dennis and Tesssa prepared a full on extravaganza that started  out in a solemn but spectacularly decorated church complete with wolves and horses.

Right after their renewal of vows we all moved to the Manila Polo Club where there practically a village waiting to entertain the guests that comprised of Giants, midgets, fire breathing acrobats that climaxed to a fantastic firework show.

We were then ushered into the dining hall which was absolutely amazing as it really felt like we were in the set of The Games of Thrones.  The dinner banquet was laid out exactly as if it was in the medieval times however this time we had white rice!  LOL!  During the beautiful banquet Dennis and Tessa prepared a show that began with aerial dancers and Opera singers.  The highlight for me was being part of the flash mob dance where 50 of Tessa’s closest friends danced with the couple which actually took several practices and rehearsals to perfect.

What I really love about weddings like these are the speeches that everyone shares, Their eldest son  Brian gave one of the most heart tugging speeches I have ever experienced.  The truth is beneath all the splendour and pageantry of the celebration.  This is really all about family and the liberty to live each day  with absolute love.

I just want to thank Dennis & Tessa for their friendship as I have been blessed immensely because of this.  Looking forward to more adventures with you guys!

Tessa’s incredible bridal shoes!

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