By and  on February 9, 2010

NEW YORK — “I like dark, strange things,” says Rajo Laurel, 37, who, though new to the U.S., is already a noted designer in his native Philippines. “I like to find beauty in the unexpected.” That’s true of his fall collection, which revolves around an insect inspiration. The slinky body-con dress shown here, for instance, comes wrapped in a cobweb of shredded silk jersey.

Rajo Laurel
Backstory: Manila-born Rajo Laurel, 37, has been making waves in his native Philippines since launching his self-named collection more than a decade ago. Exhibit A of this success? Laurel, a Central Saint Martins graduate, has been a judge on “Project Runway Philippines” since the show began in 2008. Exhibit B: The designer employs a staff of nearly 400, has two factories and oversees a number of lines, from bridal and made-to-measure to children’s wear (Rajito) and corporate uniforms (Laurel et Ross). This year marks Laurel’s entry into the U.S. market, with his main Rajo Laurel collection.

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