“Imagine Helmut Newton surfing,” Arturo Obegero said ahead of the presentation of his spring collection. Indeed, one could imagine his sensual and streamlined designs appealing to the photographer.
In “Night Surfer,” the Paris-based designer looked back to his youthful days surfing on the northeastern coastline of Spain, where his family is based. Although by his own admission he preferred a chat on the shore, he tapped into the watersport’s wardrobe, juxtaposing formfitting shapes and liquid-looking draping that nodded to the waves.
Standouts included a rework of his high-waisted signature trousers in crisp linen; toweling teased into structured tops that will, through time and use, conform to the body like a second skin, and a high-neck dress with a detachable draped skirt — a glamorous depiction of a surfer fresh from the water and wrapped in a towel.
After going in last season’s realistic direction, Obegero said he’d wanted to double down on the tailoring that put his brand on the map, while finding other ways to give visual oomph. There were near-abstract waves as prints, a novelty introduced here, alongside craft-intensive embellishments such as dotting silicone on a mesh top as water drops or hand-embroidered seafoam that took some 23 hours to execute.
There’s a cannier reasoning behind these developments. An increasing part of Obegero’s business comes from bespoke orders, notably from artists like Harry Styles, as seen in the “As It Was” clip, and Irish singer-songwriter Roísín Murphy, who wore a bespoke silver jumpsuit last May on tour for her new album “Hit Parade.”
Such collaborations are artistically fulfilling for the Paris-based designer but it’s also “what saved us” by injecting much needed funds into his scrappy young business, he said plainly.
While he’s planning on continuing to mine this vein of “prêt-à-couture, this idea of everyday pieces that still have a detail that makes them special,” Obegero is not opposed to the idea of couture. “I would love to do couture. My phone is available, if anyone needs a creative director with a vision.”