Rajo Laurel, one of my favorite designers in the Philippine fashion scene, is launching his Spring/Summer 2012 collection on Saturday, March 10. Dubbed Athletenique, the collection is, as the designer puts it, his reaction to his current philosophy that "fitness is fashion."
Laurel is giddy about this new collection, even calling it "one of the most exciting collections he has ever dreamed of" in his blog. Athletenique is a fusion of athletics and ethnicity, so the pieces are mostly sportswear-oriented. The prints and patterns, meanwhile, are responsible for the ethnicity or tribal aspect of the collection -- but certainly not in a literal sense.
Colors abound in this collection, and I am loving the jackets and coats here, with their shiny finish and flaps all around. I just don't know if they work well in the kind of weather that we have. Laurel says local weaves like piña and jusi were used a lot here, incorporating silk, polyester and lycra in the process. I say it's about time someone made these local weaves more relevant.
Laurel crafted some garter-hemmed trousers that he playfully dresses up with some equally playful blazers and long-sleeved shirts.
And being a summer collection, of course there are shorts. I love the "shortness" of these shorts but despite the length -- or lack thereof -- they're versatile enough to be paired with a long-sleeved shirt or a blazer.
There's also a splattered shirt, which, although I like, I find a tad out of place in the collection. But then it could be that I just couldn't fathom the wisdom of Rajo Laurel.
Athletenique is available across all House of Laurel labels like RajoMan, Rajo!, Nine by Rajo, and Rajito. It debuts on March 10, 2012, 9am to 6pm at the House of Laurel, 6013 Villena corner Mañalac streets, Poblacion, Makati City.
For more info, visit www.rajolaurel.com. You can also view the entire collection here.
All photos from www.rajolaurel.com.