In the manner of Yohji Yamamoto and his iconic Japanese avant-garde stylings, Rajo Laurel delivers his most personal collection yet. Called Androgyny, Rajo says this latest outing is a tribute to the "amazing designer"and is a "recollection of how I would dress up during my New Wave phase."
"It is inspired by menswear and how these tailoring techniques would affect gender," Rajo explains. Linear silhouettes for both men and women are softened by his signature draping, giving way to a tempered aesthetic that is at all turns mannish but still femininely sexy.
"As with past collections, this one also deals with paradox. I have always loved working with opposite forces and try to get as much effect as I can from the tension that comes out of it." To best convey the concept, he stuck to a severe neutral color palette; black, white, gray and beige do little to distract from the double-edged execution of the pieces.
Rajo continues, "My clothes have always been about ease—meaning, they're easy to wear. However, there's a sense of 'attitude' to the collection that seems austere at first but has a distinct luxury to it." Luxe fabrics such as Egyptian cotton and washed silks were used in the collection, while some distressed materials—lightweight wool, cotton voile—are enhanced with embroidery for a richer feel.
With this collection, Rajo hopes to attract a different client base. "I hope to open my brand to other audiences that would like to experience my clothes." A younger, more fearless one, perhaps?
Androgyny will be launched at House of Laurel this Saturday, July 9, 2011.