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.
Collection: “My sisters always say, ‘Rajo, you’re so creepy,’” notes Laurel of his sensibility, “because I like dark, beautiful, strange things. I like to find beauty in the unexpected.” And, indeed, for his fall collection, the designer found inspiration in his love of insects. A slinky body-con dress, for instance, comes wrapped in a layer of shredded silk jersey for a gauzy, cobweb effect, while other frocks feature magnified dragonfly prints. “There’s a French phrase that I love,” Laurel adds, “jolie laide.”
Stats: Wholesale prices for the collection range from $85 to $265.
Basta Surf Backstory: A weeklong surf vacation in 2008 was all it took to inspire Samantha August, then a market editor at Domino magazine, to quit her job for a year of beach-bumming around the globe — Australia, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, Bali and so on — with a friend. “I fell in love with surfing and sort of got over the [New York] lifestyle,” says August, 27, who began researching swimwear upon her return.
Collection: “Along the trip, my girlfriend was always in boyish suits, and I was always in fashion suits that would fall down when you surfed,” says August, who developed her collection of six sporty suits, each named for a famous surfing spot, using high-end Italian fabrics for the exterior and performance material for the lining. “It’s for a woman who wants to play on the beach, not just sit on it.”
Stats: Wholesale prices range from $34 for bikini tops and bottoms to $73 for a one-piece. All suits are technically reversible, although August recommends wearing them as shown for active endeavors. The collection is sold at Bastasurf.com and Shopbop.com. — Jessica Iredale
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
Discovery is collaborating with British pop artist @philipcolbert on a new line of clothing and accessories called Discovery Shark. The collection, which will launch next summer for Shark Week’s 30th anniversary, features a whimsical line of women’s and men’s bomber jackets, sweatshirts, bags and more. #wwdfashion
“I’m always a big champion of a female rapper, and I’m glad to see a new voice that feels unique and authentic that’s coming up, and I think we’re going to see more great things from her,” said @itsjeremyscott about @iamcardib, who performed at @moschino’s Art Basel Miami Beach party last night. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@janellemonae’s “What’s Your Frequency?” room in @refinery29's #29Rooms made its debut this week at the opening of the Los Angeles art exhibit. “It’s about the ongoing conversation around mass surveillance, the weaponization of technology and cultural uniformity. My space was created so that we can come together and talk about the complexities of our humanity,” said Monáe. #wwdeye (📷: @bucknerphoto)
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)