New York Fashion Week spring - summer 2013: Juan Carlos Obando

Reporting from New York

The collection: Juan Carlos Obando.

The inspiration: A graphic take on animal prints. The L.A.-based fashion designer who dressed Aubrey Plaza for last year’s Emmys mined work from his past life as a graphic designer, specifically a project on animal textures that he completed for his first portfolio. This is the first time he has worked with prints.

The look: Chic savage. Bias-cut gowns with twist bodices and necklines in abstract flora and fauna prints, some covered in as many as 32,000 tiny Swarovski crystals. (And some with sleeves, which women are always complaining they cannot find in evening wear.) Jackets and vests with deflated peplums. Blousy tops dusted in crystals (which never seemed to weigh down the collection). Sheer, loose-fitting trousers with shorts underneath creating a slouchy, fall-off-the-hips look. Color palette included black, white and nude with pops of brilliant green and blue. Nearly every look was cinched with a belt made of climbing rope.

The scene: Obando showed his collection on mannequins festooned with papier-mache animal heads created by a friend, L.A.-based freelance art director Sebastian Paul. At the Park Avenue Armory, where the presentation was held, an insider fashion crowd mixed with camo-covered military on entry and exit.

The verdict: An original take on the tropical theme that perfectly balanced summertime ease and city-wise sophistication.



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