Over the past two seasons, Joseph Altuzarra has taken his decidedly sexy angle from sophisticated to sweet. Here, he pushed it to an aggressive extreme with his lineup of fierce femme fatales. The opening series of severe black coats, worked over in shiny black goat fur, buckled bondage straps and their exaggerated collars popped Matrix-style seemed designed with a lethal assassin, a chic one, in mind. Likewise the black leather fetishwear that followed with second-skin dresses and catsuits that were cut with split seams, crudely sewn up to suggest scars, and plunging, laced necklines. It was ultraspecific and ultraeditorial, aside from a few toned-down and terrifically cut coats. If some of the leathers, not to mention the vampy red velvet tuxedo styles and gowns, lacked a level of refinement, the foundations were there. And there’s something to be said for an earnest young designer willing to take risks.

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