Searching for Identity
When Alessandra Fachinetti left Gucci, fashion insiders were relieved the blatant copycatting of Ford’s style had finally come to an end. Not so fast! Juan Carlos Obando has risen to the plate to fill that void. One look at the designer’s work and it is impossible not to experience deja vu. Tom’s famous silk satin cigarillo pants, strapless dresses with quilted bustiers, multiple panel pencil skirts, and tailored jackets slashed at the yokes have un-climactically found their way to a runway in Los Angeles.
Don’t get me wrong. These are beautifully constructed clothes that flatter the feminine silhouette. Furthermore, I have no doubt that this collection will be grabbed like discounted samples at Manolo Blahnik because -- let’s face it -- Ford was a maverick at determining what sells. In other words, Ford sold the world’s oldest commodity: sex.
Juan Carlos Obando’s co-opting of Ford’s style vexes me. Mr. Obando can cut a mean dress and put it all together with artistic precision; but where does he stand when it comes to his own inspired design? That is a question that begs to be answered.