Thursday, October 30, 2008

The mesmerizing talent of JC Obando

The wonderful, kind and talented Juan Carlos Obando is one of the ten finalists for the 2008 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nominees featured in Vogue this month. It's the one with Reese Witherspoon on the cover, wearing red lipstick so that her pretty blue eyes pop out at you. Here's what they say about JC:

JUAN CARLOS OBANDO An advertising genius takes on a second job: totally self-taught designer of inventive dresses. Say you are a creative director at an advertising firm who decides to try fashion photography on the side. How to get the beautiful dresses you want to shoot? Make them yourself! Los Angeles designer Juan Carlos Obando taught himself just how to do that by deconstructing an Alaïa jacket, a Chanel suit, and a pair of Gucci trousers (vintage he got from Cameron Silver at Decades) and stitching them back together. And as if that weren't ambitious enough, he learned sewing techniques from the instructions that came with McCall patterns. His task took about three months, and during that time, "suddenly, photography vanished, and fashion took over." During the day, the 31-year-old Obando works—à la Mad Men—in a Century City high-rise conceiving digital-ad campaigns for the likes of Toyota's Scion and Sony Pictures. He's even used this expertise to create a chic hair-care brand called No. 4 (instant show sponsor!). But after hours—sometimes at his firm's mile-long conference table—he has been designing romantic, intricately pleated pieces, like the chiffon blouse he paired with slouchy trousers in his spring show. "The front of the pants was a size 13," says the Colombia native in his self-taught-tailor's speak. "But the back was a size 2—and it was hot!"

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