Style profile: Rajo Laurel

By Karen Flores,

Posted at Feb 04 2011 11:59 AM | Updated as of Feb 05 2011 01:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Rajo Laurel's distinct creations have made it everywhere, to stores both here in the country and abroad.

And they take different forms -- from couture and ready-to-wear (RTW) clothing to Barbie outfits and wedding gowns, cakes and rings.

Both an artist and a businessman, the award-winning Filipino fashion designer certainly knows beauty and how he can show it best to the world.

He admitted, however, that he prefers to keep it simple when it comes to his own personal style.

Here are Laurel's answers to questions posed by

Describe your personal style.

Relaxed and easy. I actually have a "uniform" -- navy polo shirts from my cousin, Rhett Eala (of Collezione C2), and Levi's jeans. I have 14 shirts of the same kind. I also like wearing white shirts and navy cardigans.

Who are your style icons/inspirations?

My grandmother, Lola Betty Castillo Laurel. I also like Tina Chow and Tina Maristela Ocampo.

What is your favorite fashion trend?

I love full skirts. My favorite fashion decade is the 50s. I like the idea of "women were men and men were women."

What, for you, is one fashion trend that should have died?

I think we should all go through that process of making fashion mistakes. Although sometimes, I wish I didn't go through the punk era, 'yung butas-butas na damit (purposely ripped clothes) at clorox (bleach).

What are 5 things that every woman should have in her closet?

A well-fitting pair of jeans, a white crisp shirt, the LBD (little black dress), a really good dark suit for career women, and a twinset (a matching set of a cardigan and a short-sleeved jumper/pullover).

What are 5 things that every man should have in his closet?

A dark suit, a white long-sleeved polo, a good pair of jeans, a navy or black cardigan and a button-down, short-sleeved polo shirt.

Give me 5 style tips.

1. Invest in a proper set of accessories -- good pumps, a bag, a nice belt. Accessories really make the outfit. These greatly improve the way you dress up. But just buy what you can afford.

2. Always buy well-fitting clothes. No matter how nice an outfit is, it won't look good if it doesn't have a proper fit.

3. Don't be afraid of color. It can brighten anyone's day.

4. Invest in quality pieces. Stylish women usually don't have many things -- they just have the right items. It's all about quality, not quantity.

5. Enjoy dressing up. Fashion is supposed to be fun.

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