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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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June 9th, 2014

Jean Paul Gaultier- LONDON

In my formative years as a designer, Jean Paul Gaultier would be one of those names that would have influenced my  journey.  His work would have a such a significant force all over the world.  I saw his exhibition in San Francisco a few years ago but I could not pass up the opportunity to see the show once more at the Barbican in London  https://www.barbican.org.uk.

I had to experience Jean Paul Gaultiers amazing work all over again.  This was an incredible show as it displayed his body of work in a country where he loved very much.  It was such a treat to be able to be so close to amazing samples of craft and technique.  This show really shows you why fashion is indeed art.

The show was curated by way of themes and how Jean Paul Gaultier would use these themes throughout his collections and career.  The best thing about this whole experience is actually seeing and hearing Jean Paul Gaultier as he was  giving a talk that same evening interviewed by the legendary Fashion journalist Suzy Menkes.  I was so engaged and enthralled as Jean Paul Gaultier is such a personality, deeply giving and very funny.

My personal highlight was actually meeting Suzy Menkes and having a photograph taken with her.  She was signing her book at the end of the talk and I was so happy to have met her.  To be able to meet, see and experience once idols is indeed a blessing.  I am so fortunate to have been able to see this and I would like to share the images with all of you.  It will really blow your mind.

In front of the denim collection of Jean Paul Gaultier.

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June 7th, 2014

A fine day for the TATE Modern

London in late spring early summer is really all about glorious weather!  Often too beautiful to actually stay indoors and enjoy the sun and the lush greens.  Decided to enjoy as much as the sun but I really wanted to go see the Matisse exhibition at the Tate Modern and have our friends meet us there to enjoy the museum and the exhibition.

The Tate is my favourite museum in the world!  I love the scale, the magnitude, and the amazing art.  I love coming to this Museum and I really don’t get tired of it.  Each time I come to London I must visit the Tate Modern.  It’s a place where I always get inspired and this trip was so significant as what I saw ignited a new collection that got me all excited.

I am so thankful that I am able to savour the opportunity to visit this museum and to have my friends around is even more amazing.  Enjoy the photos!

Spring ready! CJ & Nix.

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June 6th, 2014

Borgy and Georgina in London!

While in London I met up with my friends Borgy and Georgina.  Nix and I love George and Borgy and we have traveled several times together before and to meet up with them is always a joy.  We decided to meet up after lunch and check out the  cool hotel that they were staying at called www.no11cadogangardens.com It was a really cool hotel that had this old world vibe almost Haunted house level but i thought it was very interesting and inspiring.

It was great to just hang out and not be in the thick of what we normally do in Manila. We ended up in this really cool neighbourhood pubs that served some amazing food.  Just wanted to share with you some good times with good friends.

I love this shot of Nix and I! Wishing more adventures in the years to come.

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June 5th, 2014

COYA!

Ever since I went to PERU  I fell head over heels with their culture and cuisine.  One of the biggest food influences all over the wold now is Peruvian cuisine so when my friend David suggested that we try COYA I encouraged my friends to come and try it.  COYA is one of those restaurants that you immediately feel very hip and chic in.  I fell in love with the dark interiors with metallic walls and modern Peruvian art punctuating the entire ambience.  http://www.coyarestaurant.com 

The food was absolutely stunning!  We started our meal with some gorgeous Pisco sours followed by the most delicious bites, I particularly loved the fish ceviche which was so delicious we had to have two orders.  It was a real treat indeed.  I strongly suggest you all visit COYA when in London as it will definitely be a highlight.

Here is COYA!

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June 4th, 2014

The CFDA 2014 Red Carpet!

The annual CFDA awards is always exciting as it’s a time where the most important and influential players in the world of American Fashion unite and get together for a full on show of love and solidarity.  It’s also a chance for designers and their “girls” to show off their new thoughts and ideas on the red carpet.  I for one always take a look at what the designers are wearing as well as the muses as it’s strong indication as the direction they are at or where they are going.  So here is my little peanut gallery of thoughts and commentary.  Let me know what you think?  After all fashion is all about perspective.

Blake Lively looking very MOD and Michael Kors looking very men in black.

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May 22nd, 2014

The Forbidden Concert.

To have been part of one’s dreams is very special, to be able to do it more than once is magical blessing.  This experience happened to me and my team recently when we we were asked to do a very special costume for Anne Curtis’s recent The Forbidden concert.

This was the first fitting that we did for Anne.

The costume would prove to be one of the most memorable if not challenging dresses I have ever done and if you know anything about me, I will never back out of a challenge.  The dress which was conceptualised together with Anne’s stylist Pam Quinones was more of a “mechanised” dress that would be used for Anne’s “Letting go” song from Frozen.  Each stanza of the song one part of the dress would light up emitting refracting laser lights and emitting LED lights.

Really happy that the effect of the lights were quite stunning.

Since this song is quite popular we had to do an amazing dress.  I have only done something similar to this once but it was definitely simpler.  This dress would require around 3000 LED lights and a wiring mechanism that is actually quite fragile we had to be extremely careful in putting this together.  What we go through to get to that specific effect is literally a labor of love.

 

I loved this illustration. Soleil Ignacio is quite the talent.

 

I just want to share with you some images of the process and to thank Anne for the faith and trust  in me and my team.  I also want to congratulate Pam and her entire team for a job well done!  Let me tell you know that entire concert  was no walk in the park.  Anne did the most terrifying stunts which proved to be a major success.    Congratulations to everyone in the team!  BRAVO!!!!!!!!

I wanted the piece to look like a crystal piece.

 

 

Checking the lights.
Dress rehearsal time.
MInutes before the show you can see a virtual army assisting Anne. See how focused she was?
Let it go indeed!
Pam assembled a shoe collection for the show that left me breathless!
Lets do this! Anne with her style team!
The opening number had Anne doing some death defying acts.
This was a personal highlight for me. Seeing Anne with Asia’s song bird. Both of whom are my dear friends.
I loved this portion of the show.
The process in photos.
The final effect! LET IT GO!!!!

HUGS,

RAJO!