Juan Carlos Obando 2006 - A Journey of Inspiration

As the lights dimmed on the runway at Smashbox Studio's Lightbox stage Monday night during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the theme from Disney's Tarzan floated above the commotion. The audience quieted as Juan Carlos Obando's journey through five stages of fashion evolution began.  Dedicated to the women who had inspired him throughout his life, the collection was entitled La Revancha De Remedios la Bella. It was an elegant mix of the simple, the exotic, the regal and the dirty, but not specifically in that order. The show was divided into these sections: Birth, Puvertad & Fortalza, Matriarcado, Limboy Circunstancia, and Duelo & Delirio. They were each marked by the dimming of lights and a change of music.

I. Birth
The look was pure virginal, a fountain-of-youth array of white cotton and linen dresses, trousers, shorts, blouses, and handkerchiefs. Some draped loose and others were slim and fitted. This first section was the clean slate of the show, marking the beginning of the journey with a blank canvas.

II. Puvertad & Fortaleza
Sharp contrasts from the quiet elegance of the previous clothing, this section's styles were hands down the most daring of the entire show. Obando introduced bucket loads of color as well as a flashy, jungle sensibility to the pieces worn.  From hand carved wood and bone beaded necklaces to bright reds and blues of the ruffled skirts and sleeveless tops, the looks were certainly eye catching. Brown goat skin stilettos and terracotta beads completed the outfits. Notable was a bright, gypsy inspired aqua skirt with suspended layered ruffles paired with a black halter and a chunky white bone necklace. This clash of color and elements was stunning.

III. Matriarcado
This third segment signified a return to subdued colors with an elegant collection of muslin, burlap, cotton, belted dresses, cigarette trousers, mesh tank tops, and poet blouses. They invoked sentiments of quiet maturity and understated feminine power.

IV. Limboy Circunstancia
The models emerged one by one, smeared with black body paint from head to toe. Each one wore a black lycra bathing suit paired with black stilettos. The suits were bikinis, asymmetrical strapped numbers, and one pieces. Despite the novelty of the body paint, the bathing suits were ordinary and unremarkable.

V. Duelo & Delirio
The last of Obando's fashion installment concluded the show with mix of beautiful black silk taffeta cocktail dresses, jackets, skirts, and coats. Many had tied straps and stiff, ruffled collars. These flirty and frilly pieces drew audience applause almost immediately.
Obando truly outdid himself with these luxuriously rich numbers.

Hair was slicked back in clean, low ponytails, keeping the focus on the clothes. Makeup was bare and kept to a minimum. White, black and brown stilettos made their appearance on every foot that went the runway, and complimented every bikini and dress.

The show in its entirety was a sophisticated array of designs drawn from different inspirations, from the simple purity of birth to a sense of raw sensuality. There was no outfit outrageously wild or jaw-dropping, and each piece of clothing was beautifully designed to match the beauty of and compliment the female form. Obando was well aware of every line and shape in the collection and succeeded in finding the right mix of fabrics and colors. Overall, the collection showcased feminine sensuality, from beautiful dresses and skirts to waist sashes and tiny slip dresses, all designed to make the woman look and feel like a million bucks.

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