The Parisian atmosphere suits Joseph Altuzarra. His second collection shown in his French hometown was absolutely lovely. He took over the iconic La Coupole restaurant, seating his guests on the banquettes where Picasso, Man Ray and Henry Miller have wined and dined over the decades. The models looked right at home, not only because the green and gold decor complemented the collection’s hazy fall palette of gray, fawn, aubergine and teal, but because they were dressed like the kind of women who would have a standing table during its golden days — successful, confident and feminine.
Altuzarra wanted the collection to be real, inspired by and suited to the women around him. “It was about women I grew up with. It was about watching my mother get dressed in the morning to work at a bank, and the women who I work with now,” he said during a preview, noting that his 10th anniversary is upcoming. “A lot of them who were in their early 20s 10 years ago are now moms and married. It’s really amazing to see their lives evolve and this collection is very much informed by that.”
Tailoring is a signature of the brand, always womanly, seductive, sharp. Here, Altuzarra softened and warmed it up in wool and cashmere, gray and tan pinstripes and plaid, some printed with delicate flowers. Jackets had strong shoulders and gentle hourglass waists trimmed in buttons, and the sleeves were tacked up into little scrunches at the elbows. They were worn over pencil skirts that unbuttoned up the center and cropped trousers. Delicate micro floral silk skirts with a bohemian grace broke up the tailoring as the show progressed into more movement, texture and depth while gaining attitude. A purple and black tie-dyed velvet peasant dress had a striking square portrait neckline. Chunky knit sweaters, scarves and slinky slit skirts were trimmed in silver grommets that also traced a purple suede trench and a black leather skirt. He wrapped it up with intoxicating gypsy power on flowing floral peasant dresses in black, deep purple teal and blush with smocked bodices, bare shoulders and a dusting of sequins. They channeled pretty, adult allure and looked comfortable, too.