Live-streamed runway shows aren’t anything new, but what Rajo Laurel presented earlier tonight wasn’t just a live runway show—it was a virtual one. As the country has never witnessed anything of its kind before, we were all on our toes anticipating what its nature would be like.
The event was broadcasted on the Facebook page of Saga Events who made the show possible. The video followed a webinar-like format with the host, Issa Litton, on one side of the screen, and her interviewees on the other. Before the runway show itself took place, Issa indulged our queries through a Q&A portion with Rajo himself and Robby Carmona, the founder of Saga Events.
It turns out that #RajoRunwayOnline was the brainchild of Robby who pitched the idea to the designer (and close friend). The two then collaborated and produced the whole thing within two weeks, with the help of their teams. “The creative process of this project wasn’t easy. You have to realize that our industry lies in communication… we are [oftentimes] face-to-face with the people we work with… But nothing good was ever easy,” Rajo explained.
Despite the constraints of online communication, both Rajo and Robby believe that such a virtual runway show is a “strong start” for the fashion community and the events community. “With the resources that we have and the creativity that fuels us, we will move towards the future together. Our business will evolve and our industry will thrive. This is how we start, and this is how we start strong,” Robby said.
After the quick Q&A portion, a video montage of Rajo Laurel’s closest friends/clients was displayed and the runway show began. Here are some things that might take place in future virtual shows, based on what transpired in #RajoRunwayOnline:
All coordination will be done online.
Naturally, coordination for the event was all done online. “This is really something different becaue everyting was done remotely, so all meetings all content that we had to do—pre-production, editing, approvals—were all online,” Robby explained.
We’ll all get a glimpse of what’s happening backstage.
As compared to “normal” runway shows where not everyone from the audience gets to go backstage and shake hands with the designer or meet the team, Rajo’s virtual show featured its key players, including Jing Monis (hair styling), Gela Laurel (makeup), and DJ Brian Cua (music). In fact, Jing Monis even did a quick tutorial of the show’s hairstyle!
Models will send homemade videos.
Instead of a catwalk, what brought together the show’s models was the power of video-editing! Each model sent in their own runway videos that also zoomed in on the clothes’ details, so everyone could see them up-close. The videos were stitched so seamlessly together that it seemed like they were all in one location! The end even featured a cool collage of all the models.
People will get to share their insights before and after the show.
Unlike regular fashion shows where videos on the collection’s inspiration are flashed onscreen, Rajo Laurel’s virtual show featured that and more. It was nice how Issa, Litton, Robby, and Rajo shared their insights before and after the show, offering the viewer a complete experience of the collection.
Everyone gets to immerse themselves in the collection.
Through the video’s comment thread, Issa got to talk to viewers and closely engage with them, making everyone feel like they were truly part of the show. Many viewers also responded to each other’s comments. It felt like everyone was engaged with the fashion.
ORIGINAL STORY: [May 19, 2020] is an eventful day for Rajo Laurel, one of the country’s leading fashion designers. Not only is it his birthday, but it’s the first time he’ll be hosting a special event that will mark the beginning of something new. Tonight, he will be staging his first-ever virtual fashion show made possible by Saga Events. The online event will showcase Rajo’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection titled “Hacienda,” which he launched last March 13, the day the community quarantine was implemented in the metro. Soon after, the designer decided to suspend operations completely, eventually transforming his factory into a PPE manufacturing arm to help address the supply shortage.
Although the quarantine suddenly turned things around for the collection and the entire business, Rajo’s Hacienda is making a grand entrance, albeit one that will pave the way for future fashion shows. "The collection is inspired by provincial life," Rajo shares in an Instagram post. “Isn’t it ironic that I am currently living this truth? As we wait this through, I have to admit that I terribly miss my staff, the team, the studio, the stores, and especially my beloved clients. I know that things are really going to change post-pandemic,” he writes in the caption.
Saga Events was founded by Robby Carmona, who is one of Rajo’s closest friends. The two have worked on many of Rajo’s fashion shows in the past, including his big 25th-anniversary show back in 2018.
Robby Carmona founded Saga in 1995, pushing the creative limits of fashion shows in the Philippines. By 2009, Saga evolved into a full-fledged events agency, and Saga Events was born. The company not only specializes in fashion show production but other corporate and marketing events as well. With 25 years of experience under its belt, it only makes sense for Saga Events to spearhead the local fashion scene’s inaugural virtual fashion show.
Make sure to catch #RajoRunwayOnline tonight at 6 p.m. on Saga Events’ official Facebook page.