To say that Joseph Altuzarra has had a good week would be an understatement. On Thursday, the designer joined Kering’s luxury portfolio,a move that should set him up to international exposure and furthergrow his label. On Saturday night, the designer built on the big newswith a spring collection that could best be described as simplybeautiful.
A study in tony chic, Altuzarra took elements of pastcollections — exquisite draping, ethnic touches and plays on men’s wear —and pulled them together with confidence and panache.
Boro, theJapanese technique used by fishermen and farmers to patch together ragsand everyday garments, provided the starting point. Backstage before theshow, Altuzarra explained that the theme evolved into “this idea ofeffortless ease of a shirt and a skirt, bits of patchworking, softlayering and handwork that’s done in a humble way.”
He had noreason to be humble. Altuzarra deconstructed men’s shirts with a fresheye, tucking some into draped, elongated skirts. The effect was casualwith a studied imperfection. The same could be said of the loose stringsthat dangled from many of the skirts. Rather than disheveled, thedetail looked interesting and added to the collection’s Parisiansophistication and sensuality. Surface elements were also executed withgraceful control: An elegant trompe l’oeil navy dress that looked like aknit top layered over a long skirt had just the right amount ofembroidery and delicate jewel adornment.
The collection willeasily translate into chic adult wardrobes. It was mature in the mostpositive sense of the word, right down to the last few exits of terrificdraped-and-tied dresses in a shimmering metal silk thread. They wereglamorous, but in a quieter, less formal way, and like the rest of theclothes, demonstrated Altuzarra’s confidence and knowledge of desire infashion.
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