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Absurdist Interview: Fashion designer Raphael Lobello

Fresh couture
Fresh couture

Fashion Denver's in-house French fashion designer and artist Raphael Lobello grew up in a fort built in the 1200s. After studying screen printing in Grenoble for two years, Lobello moved near Toulouse and studied fashion design for three more before coming to Denver, where he is learning English and making one-of-a-kind garments for the denizens of our fine city. Brandi Shigley, owner of Fashion Denver said, "His sewing is amazing." Influenced by outsider art, particularly the work of Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, Lobello likes to mix paint with fabric to make clothing that is bold and colorful, with influences from native African art as well. With Brandi Shigley as our translator, we sat down with Lobello at Fashion Denver and got inside his head about nothing related to any of those things.

Raphael with a costume in the works, commissioned for a Thanksgiving shindig
Raphael with a costume in the works, commissioned for a Thanksgiving shindig
Ben Dayton

WW: Who has better style, cats or sloths? RL: The sloth, because he's more tranquil and he's not domesticated.

WW: What color is the act of playing music? RL: It is a lot of colors, black, yellow...

WW: For instance, what is the color of playing the harmonica? RL: Black or gray, because I don't know how to play it.

WW: How does the bird know when to fly south? RL: Because it has a sixth sense.

Raphael Lobello fashion made from old Bob Marley jeans
Raphael Lobello fashion made from old Bob Marley jeans
Ben Dayton

WW: What's your favorite magical animal? RL: The fly.

WW: Who is your favorite dead author? RL: Beethoven -- no, Mozart. He wrote spectacular operas.

WW: Who would win in a race to the north pole, a lion or a whale? RL: The balloon, because it flies through the air.

WW: Any final remarks? RL: I'm hungry.

Raphael Lobello plans to be in the states for three months. His unique clothing can be found at Fashion Denver, 1070 Bannock Street, or online at Dawanda.com


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