When a young designer confesses that the collection was triggered by an unedited roster of inspirations, one thought comes to mind: uh-oh. Not so with Joseph Altuzarra, who delivered his best collection to date. If last season he had everyone abuzz about fierce femme fatales, this time he’ll have people talking about his savvy restraint and sleek precision. Which is somewhat ironic, given, as mentioned, his various influences — from the Sixties to urban signage to techno culture.
“The idea stemmed from the Internet and how you can see so many sources in a single click,” he explained, postshow. “It’s about that kind of freedom and image consumption.” In other words, with so many references, they boiled down to zero. So what if the metallic collars on sheath dresses carry a touch of Mod? Or that the abundant use of snakeskin — as trim, triangular inserts and geometrically patchworked into body-hugging jersey gowns — hinted at something more tribal? Or that ravers might pick up on the pops of fluorescent hues in those glow-stick-like bracelets? Altuzarra’s cocktail of elements produced a singular vision in streamlined and sexily modern clothes: rigorously cut dresses, some with sweeping asymmetric hems; smart wide-leg pants and nipped-waist jackets, and those patchworked finale dresses, which were absolutely alluring. That Altuzarra’s show was streamed live on the web, only brings his initial inspiration process full circle.