Dolly de Leon, Rajo Laurel — two Filipinos that made us proud at BAFTA
Even though actress Dolly de Leon failed to bring home the best supporting actress trophy from the recently concluded 2023 BAFTA Film Awards, she still managed to deliver an awesome red carpet look worthy of recognition.
De Leon attended the awards night of the prestigious British film academy in which she was a best supporting actress nominee for the movie “Triangle of Sadness” by Ruben Östlund. The award eventually went to Irish actress Kerry Condon for “The Banshees of Inisherin”.
In an interview at the sidelines of the awarding ceremony, a reporter commended De Leon for her “extraordinary outfit,” a beige-colored creation made of abaca and nylon silk material that complimented her bare shoulders and made a wave-like pattern on the bodice.
“Thank you, it’s by a Filipino designer Rajo Laurel,” the first Filipino BAFTA nominee said in response.
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This made the world-class designer all giddy for having met de Leon and dressing her up for the British film awards night.
On Instagram, he posted pictures of his first meeting with the “Dirty Linen” actress, as well as during the fitting of her gown in his atelier, admitting that he was enthralled by de Leon.
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“I am Kilig to the bones!” he began his long post.
Laurel said that it was actress Iza Calzado who told him about de Leon and who suggested that he reach out to her as there was a “huge buzz” about the film “Triangle of Sadness”.
“I reached out to Dolly on Instagram offering my services back in Sept 2022. Dolly was kind, gracious and just wonderful. We scheduled a meeting & I was immediately enthralled. She spoke about her love of the ocean and how she finds peace near the water,” the designer narrated.
He further said that he initially made an azure blue gown for De Leon, but changed his mind when her stylist give him something to think about.
“I cannot forget what he said to me: What would I do if the entire world’s eyes were on Dolly and what would she wear? From there I thought about Dolly’s love of the ocean and I decided to fully embrace this by celebrating our Filipino culture in a modern light,” he said. That was when he thought of manipulating his abaca and nylon silk fabric into something worthy of a red-carpet introduction before the international stage.
De Leon’s couture gown was aptly called “Alon,” as its silky curves called to mind the peaceful waves that the actress found appealing. It took inspiration from Laurel’s initial design which he introduced in 2018 for his 25th anniversary show.
“I wanted to use that original material and create something deeply meaningful for Dolly. The rest as they say is history as she has shattered the glass ceiling for all of us creative Filipinos. Waiting to be seen, heard and celebrated. She may not have won the @bafta but she is already a winner! She is my winner and she is the winner of all us Filipinos. Dreaming, wanting, wishing for our dreams to come true. Thank you Dolly for showing us all that it is possible! Pwedeng pwede matupad lahat ng ating mga pangarap,” he said. EDV
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