april fool's day was fashion day. but we're not here to compare rajo laurel to christian lacroix, my god, no, that would be like comparing balut to foie gras (well, they come from the same animal, and not that there's anything wrong with balut, it's got its own, er, charm, it's just, well, not couture, know what we mean?). it started out at 3pm (more like 4pm) at NBC tent, when philippine fashion week presented rajo laurel's solo show. now rajo, in his 12-year career, has been panned and dissed, been called everything from a liar to a copycat, and yet remains to be one of the philippines' most successful designers. hello, he owns his own building! (of course, it doesn't hurt that mommy and daddy are rich to start with...) but that's just it, most critics view him more as a shrewd businessman rather than as a creative genius, a people-pleaser rather than a visionary. his last big show in 2001 was filled with clothes that appealed to every style sensibility, spanned every decade, had silhouettes to flatter every body, were influenced by everything from edwardian to mod, and was over-styled, over art-directed, over-produced. but rajo has learned, rajo has matured, and his collection at PFW was very mature (not matronic-mature, but developed-mature). with only 31 pieces, it was a clean, tight, well-edited collection with a concept behind it (although he did include a few "baul" pieces). if rajo does it right, he could be the michael kors of the philippines, catering to the jet-set young socialite, who's day is filled with lunches, galas, trips to the beach and abroad, and of course, shopping. he can give her everything she needs in a fuss-free package; she fills up the rest and stamps it with her personality.
she could wear these to lunch
we'd wear these to go shopping
what could be better for cocktails-straight-to-dinner (careful, rajo, you're treading on proenza schouler ground there)
and if you spend more time strutting than swimming (with lovely jusi and piña cover-ups)
for travelers, this solves the dilemma of what to use as outerwear over evening dresses and gowns in cold weather (the trench is easily becoming rajo's signature piece the last couple seasons)
lastly, the peek-a-boo gowns (choose your body part—back? boob? ribcage?)
man, this post took a while to do, and we still have to get ready for tonight's young designers guild show. sorry, you'll have to wait till tomorrow for the lacroix report. you won't regret it, it'll be delicious!