Juan Carlos Obando
called his Fall collection "a tribute to women who love fashion." However, the designer wasn't just talking about any girl who loves an afternoon at Barneys. Specifically, Obando meant a woman, quite like his sometime muse Liz Goldwyn, who lives and dies for craftsmanship. At 25 looks, Fall was the CFDA/Vogue
Fashion Fund finalist's biggest collection shown in New York. He opened strong with a trio of short dresses crafted with his intricate twisting, pleating, and draping technique. Angelic and all-white, they were almost smudged here and there with color: pink, purple, or gray. Obando further flexed his atelier expertise in looks done up in flat, razored chiffon ruffles and waving scalloped layers. But the ethereal was only half the story. He injected a sportswear aspect into the precious proceedings by cutting things down to smart jackets and tops, which were then paired with slim silk pants made from his recent discovery, silk wool. With that fabric, Obando entered experimental mode, doing stiff constructed dresses and boxy tops, plain in front and with a dramatic sculptural flourish in back. With the twisted knots of silver beads (surprisingly and ingeniously light) and a halo of curls, the effect suggested a wonderfully mad lunching lady. A few fit hiccups made those dresses and suits a work in progress, but the series of white jersey gowns that closed the show sailed by as breezy and beautiful as can be.