With each season, Joseph Altuzarra strengthens his position as one of the most compelling younger designers working in fashion today.
A soigné elegance anchored the designer’s fall collection that incorporated artful flourishes inspired by a trip to Art Basel. “Easy with a little bit of grace about it, yet still very sensual,” Altuzarra said during a preview. It was exquisite.
He started by thinking about the nature of luxury and craft, both their intimate and obvious manifestations. His first thought was that luxury can’t be surface only, so he set out to make each piece equally inviting inside and out, a point introduced with double-faced coats and suits. Their tonal contrasts were delivered at times demonstratively — swaths of tomato against olive green — and sometimes as subtlety as a royal blue facing on the belt of a black coat. Altuzarra varied the degree of ease, from shapes that looked like the chicest of bathrobes to those cut with sharp, 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 artist Maria Pergay. Had Altuzarra worked from that premise alone it would have been enough, given the strength of the clothes. Instead, he moved in an apparently antithetical direction with colorful, intensely textured hand-woven pieces. Influenced by the work of Sheila Hicks, these were gorgeous in their artisanal imperfection.
Then came a pair of joyfully flashy plaid furs. (One might extract a nod to Perry Ellis.) Yet before you knew it, he was into his finale of fleece jackets and coats — all white and no-nonsense, except inside each was painted a vibrant hue not seen from the runway. It all held together beautifully within Altuzarra’s umbrella of au courant luxury.