BTS Styling of HANAMI Rajo Laurel Holiday 2012

It's my 26th birthday today and my thanksgiving to the Man upstairs are just endless!
2012 has been the most refulgent yet! 
Career-wise, STYLING for Rajo Laurel's Holiday 2012 collection, "Hanami" is a milestone.

The -Ber months mean a fashion streak for me: the Pink October exhibit, Halloween costumes, outfits for clients' parties and styling stints in between, but styling for one of the Philippines' respected and prolific designers is exciting, fulfilling and humbling! I don't show a LOUD reaction, but behind my insouciant and calm facade, I'm jittering inside! LOL

This is a milestone to me since it’s my:

1.)   First catalogue/lookbook shoot on a NATIONAL level - even international since it's on the Internet, to be viewed by millions!
2.)   Although I’ve worked with other local designers who already have a Manila platform (e.g.: Dexter Alazas, Oj Hofer, Vania Romoff), this is the first time I’ve worked closely with a BIGWIG from Manila – from the invitation, the zeroing in on the collection, the pep talk and down to the shoot itself. He taps my back, applauds me for a great job. It just humbles me greatly, his validation.
3.)   First time working with an ALL-MANILA crew. I was silent to them since I just really FOCUS on work on the said day. The House of Laurel’s sewing staff and production assistants are Bisaya-speaking so they also made me feel “at home” and they understood my “tones” and artistic silence when I was in working mode.

The whole House of Laurel design team, that counted Mich, Martin and Cher – was perspicacious and accomodating too, in zeroing me in on their upcoming collection.

*Project Runway Style Revelation*

Sir RAJO is one of the resident judges of PROJECT RUNWAY PHILIPPINES ever since Season 1 (Michael Kors’ local counterpart I presume). I mentioned in my adieu message at that I came to the competition with a “fresh knowledge on tailoring and sewing and 2 luggages of clothes” – pre-set for each taping day complete with accessories. 

My self-styling plan was to be clothed both in tailored and avant-garde apparel - MONOCHROMATICALLY. First was blue, then grey, then black, then white, then khaki and so forth. I was done with the “non-color” wheel and planned to move on to the colors, but then I got eliminated in the 5th challenge. Sir RAJO began to notice on the 2nd episode that I was in BLACK from neck to toe – accented with metal hardware ala Givenchy. He mused how “different” and “stylish” my personal style was among the 15 designers. When I was in my khaki look, bedecked with my arm party, he would let me stand up from my swiveling bar seat for him to check out what I was wearing, same with my "elimination" look of mustard sweatshirt and black uneven-hemlined skirt (which guest judge Manny also loved). Fast forward to the FINALE show, I WORE THE CARPET of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza - donned my Arabian-scarf print long-sleeved shirt and "Perspaxico" printed Persian pants that MATCHED the floors of the hall where the finale was held. I just laughed as it was a "B**** Stole My Look" moment LOL!

Here's a look behind the shooting day

"I usually do all the styling for all the look book shoots but this time around I wanted to shoot with a FRESH eye!  My stylist for the Holiday collection is Yves Camingue. He is an alumnus of Project Runway Philippines season 3.  I really loved how he would put his own clothes together and because of this invited him to style my shoot way before we cast anyone.  I was so happy with his styling as it gave a new perspective to the collection which is always very good. "
-Rajo Laurel, 
Hanami Holiday 2012 BTS of the Look Book Shoot!,

Photography: Enzo Mondejar
Styling: Yves Camingue
Hairstyling: Mark Familara
Make-up: Jarwin Manosa
Models: Jodilly, Stephan and Irish

Male model STEPHAN's physique and tattoo sleeve that 
"sealed the deal" for him for this project, ika nga ni sir Rajo.

We shot House of Laurel's 3 lines namely: Rajo!, Nine by Rajo and RajoMan.
Up to a hundred clothes were styled and boy was I in for a fashion fiesta!

Rajo's design collaboration for PARISIAN.
I especially love these red satin peep-toe booties (rightmost) in 6" harakiri heels! 

Rajo's designs for SM MILANOS.
A pendulum between street savvy, elegance and soigne for the modern gentleman.

My styling plan was a new perspective on PROPORTION and LAYERING, 

Since it's for the holiday season, layering is a key action for clothes. 
For Hanami, female garments were mid-weight and the men's were as well, except for the outerwear and pants. I applied a LOL (Long Over Long) treatment mostly to all of the looks - long blouse/shirt over long gown/skirt, long dress shirt over long skirt, etc.

It's a new severe redux on conservatism in fashion that always is a 
chic view for the FALL season

(Male model) 
These hakamas are a staple in Japanese clothing & I wasn't surprised their version, 
named OSAMU, was in the collection. 
I was elated when I touched it since I already felt what I would pair it with - 
a crisp contrasting long-sleeved shirt, tucked in, buttoned from the neck to the cuffs. 
This is done for the look to "behave" and anneal its credibility as a real-life outfit.

One of the mini-challenges in styling individual items is the SCARF
As a stylist, you have to see beyond its rectangular blankness; you have to see and DEMONSTRATE 
its potential so would-be buyers would know how to style them as well. 

The crushed gold neckpieces are by ANN ONG.
The crushed chokers were my personal favorite, and I mentally noted that this should be a starrer 
alongside a very elegant Rajo piece.
It finally had its "moment" towards the latter part of the shoot.

These are acrylic brooches from MIADORE (by @yekkybalingit); which were just perfect in accessorizing the men's looks. 
Insect bijoux is the next buzz in accessories, mind you.
That yellow scorpion is already mine!

Rajo instagramming me while working on Stephan's look.
He tweeted: "Happy to be working with my #PRP3 kid @yvescamingue"

Halfway thru the about-100 looks for "Hanami"

At 7PM, we clown after a whole day's shoot!

From L-R: Cher, ME, Mich, Enzo Mondejar (the photographer)
Irish Ong, sir RAJO Laurel, Jodilly & Martin


Up to 100 - number of individual garments
45 - pairs of shoes from SM Milanos and Rajo for Parisian
7 - Minutes in walking from my hotel to the location "House"
5 - Times of restyling the black and white scarf look til achieving the desired drape
9 - Hours consumed by the whole shoot, excluding hair and make-up
3 - My plates of merienda (Garlic chicken, cooked by Mich's mom, and pancit)

House of Laurel's Holiday 2012 collection HANAMI
is already up and available!

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