NEW YORK -- "Understated elegance. Like a whisper." That's how Los Angeles-based designer Juan Carlos Obando described his fall 2013 collection, shown Thursday afternoon at New York Fashion Week, in the salon of the Academy Mansion on the Upper East Side.
Obando drew inspiration from four muses he would not name, but no doubt one of them was Katherine Ross, a fashion consultant and the wife of Los Angeles County Museum of Art director Michael Govan, who has been a supporter of the designer's work.
The look: Free-spirited. Relaxed elegance. Colorful. Saturated shades of purple, emerald green, teal, blush scarlet and rust. Multi-layered silk peasant blouses in all variations -- backless, sleeveless, with bishop collars, neck sashes or back streamer details. The blouses were worn with hand-pleated silk maxi skirts slit high up the leg, with ribbon ties at the waists, or braided silk rope belts. There were also cigarette pants, which looked chic worn with a long blouse trailing behind, and whisper-thin silk gowns. Obando's new collection of jewelry was also on display.
The verdict: A smaller collection from Obando, but a more focused vision. Obando is honing in on his own brand of casual elegance. And the colors and textures he was able to achieve made these skirts and blouses truly special.