L.A. Watch - Fashion Week

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Jun 13, 2004
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"What will Juan Carlos do?"

NEW YORK: Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow, and with it, an essential question of the L.A. style set – “What will Juan Carlos do?†Though the designer has only showed once before, Juan Carlos Obando’s new collection is one of the most anticipated of the season, thanks to strong tailoring, heavy buzz, and fans like Anna Wintour. Here, Juan Carlos (Aries) dishes on his latest collection, his Super Bowl connection, and a possible blizzard on his runway.

You weren’t always a fashion designer…

No, I worked in advertising; I was the creative director of Saatchi & Saatchi. I did a Honda commercial for the Super Bowl!

But somehow, you learned to make clothes?

I’m obsessed with garment construction. I always have been. But I’m not into the whole avant-garde Christian Dior crap, that’s not me. I see fashion more as branding and creation of image.

You’re from New York – why did you come to L.A.?

I wanted to turn this whole town inside out! People here dress different, and this is a huge group that goes beyond the whole celebrity thing. There was a fashion niche waiting to be developed.

What kind of L.A. niche?

Well, the girl in NY is totally more broad, she’ll try different things and she can go from preppy to serious to cute to sexy. The girl in L.A., she just wants to be sexy all the time! But that’s why I love it!

Sources tell me you’ve got a really packed front row.

Everybody that I wanted is coming! Anna Wintour is sending her assistant to the show! That says a lot. And Booth Moore from the L.A. Times, she is one of my biggest fans and I love her. Bergdorf’s buyers are coming, Michael Fink from Saks is coming, the Lucky girls, Paris Vogue…

What’s your goal for the show?

You know, I think my goal is to keep working to establish a luxury brand in L.A.

Any inspirations?

The collection is called Hunters Versus Fairies! I think that says it all! It’s a battle between power and beauty.

Tell us about the collection.

I think you will see my kind of fairy! It all comes together in the details and power: power suits, business skirts. It’s very sleek but it has girly touches to it, and you can really tell. For colors, there are chocolate browns, white, blood red, olive green, and we’re using cotton, ultra suede, silk, and this new thing silk razimir. It’s like a very high tech material; we’re mixing it with cotton and silk, so it’s like fast-forward fashion.

What’s your show music?

The Killers, because the show is a killer!

And what about the rumors there’s snow on the runway?

We’re pulling the snow, actually. You know, I don’t need everyone slipping. We should see beautiful women walking down the runway and that’s a tribute to her; it should be enough.

What did you eat today?

A bagel, and I had this amazing thing called SmartWater. My friends say I’m such a snob, but I say I don’t care; I love the bottle! I buy wines by the bottle, and people are like, that wine tastes awful, and I say, “I don’t care, the bottle is beautiful!†And when you’re drunk, you won’t care either!



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