What is luxury? That question played a major role, philosophically and practically, in Victor Alfaro’s fall collection, his fourth since relaunching his brand after a 10-year hiatus. On one hand, Alfaro said he considers comfort the ultimate luxury, which related back to the slick, ath-leisure-fueled look with which he began this new venture. Yet the lineup he presented during an intimate presentation in his Flatiron studio indicated he’s had to rethink luxury in the modern retail sense, where it seems to be defined by novelty, impact and value. “You have to process things so they don’t look like Nike,” Alfaro said. “No one needs that.”
It was a collection of fantastic clothes, beautifully made of fine materials, certainly comfortable — knitwear, both easy and extreme, was the main design conceit — that were very different from his recent aesthetic. Not that that’s a crime, but it suggests Alfaro is still defining his new identity. Sportiness took the form of languidly cozy sweaters in collegiate burgundy and navy, layered with exaggerated pajama pants and riffs on ribbed long johns and legwarmers. It brought a strong point of view to the dressed-up sweatpant phenomenon. There were megastatements in craftwork — chunky crocheted and fringed sweaters in oversize silhouettes and robust outerwear, such as a burgundy down coat with fur trim that looked like a sleeping bag for the elite — and understatements, as in elegantly utilitarian jumpsuits and tailoring.