The day after Joseph Altuzarra’s spring show in September, he took off for Morocco. It felt good to get out, go somewhere unfamiliar. He wanted to use that gung-ho energy of curiosity and adventure to push his next collection aesthetically without making it Moroccan-themed. “I just felt so empowered by leaving and going somewhere new and seeing new things,” Altuzarra said during a preview of his pre-fall lineup. “I wanted this collection to be about this autonomous, free, strong-willed explorer woman.”
Altuzarra has been careful, strategic and smart about working within his established language for a while. It was time to get outside his comfort zone. He did so by weaving shorter silhouettes — miniskirts, dresses and tailored shorts — and pieces that addressed the ongoing casualization of dress codes the world over — blue jeans, cashmere sweat suits, corduroy blazers, bombers and pants — while keeping it sophisticated. Everything, whether updates on Altuzarra signatures, or the new looks, was cut and styled with New Romantic ideas in mind. There were ruffled blouses, printed and draped jersey dresses, carrot-shaped tailored pants, as well as scarf dresses, blouses and knits all sparkling with Lurex. Accessories accentuated the Eighties nostalgia in ways both cute and clever. Scrunchies inspired the elastic straps on pumps and flats, and boots with detachable knee-high shafts that snapped off to make them ankle booties were a work of pure, problem-solving genius.