With each season, Joseph Altuzarra strengthens his position as one ofthe most compelling younger designers working in fashion today.
A soigné elegance anchored the designer’s fall collection thatincorporated artful flourishes inspired by a trip to Art Basel. “Easywith a little bit of grace about it, yet still very sensual,” Altuzarrasaid during a preview. It was exquisite.
He started by thinkingabout the nature of luxury and craft, both their intimate and obviousmanifestations. His first thought was that luxury can’t be surface only,so he set out to make each piece equally inviting inside and out, apoint introduced with double-faced coats and suits. Their tonalcontrasts were delivered at times demonstratively — swaths of tomatoagainst olive green — and sometimes as subtlety as a royal blue facingon the belt of a black coat. Altuzarra varied the degree of ease, fromshapes that looked like the chicest of bathrobes to those cut withsharp, sleek lines.
A pair of curvy dresses in ladylike gray with insets of bright orange and fuchsia were stunners.
Such looks were inspired by the stark, precise steelwork of artistMaria Pergay. Had Altuzarra worked from that premise alone it would havebeen enough, given the strength of the clothes. Instead, he moved in anapparently antithetical direction with colorful, intensely texturedhand-woven pieces. Influenced by the work of Sheila Hicks, these weregorgeous in their artisanal imperfection.
Then came a pair ofjoyfully flashy plaid furs. (One might extract a nod to Perry Ellis.)Yet before you knew it, he was into his finale of fleece jackets andcoats — all white and no-nonsense, except inside each was painted avibrant hue not seen from the runway. It all held together beautifullywithin Altuzarra’s umbrella of au courant luxury.