The leather fringe laced tightly up the back of a tunic like a spine, then fell free at the tailbone, cascading into a curtain of fringe that lapped at the models’ heels. That finale look captured the raw and spontaneous quality of Esteban Cortázar’s clothes, which drew a buzzy crowd ranging from Kelly Rowland and Jason Wu to top retail executives from Bergdorf Goodman and Net-a-Porter, which helped relaunch the Colombian wunderkind in 2012 after a failed stint at Emanuel Ungaro.
“Latin sensuality and Parisian temperance,” said the show notes, the former shorthand for tops and capes with daring cutouts or open backs, the latter for bland tuxedo dresses and jumpsuits. Cortázar seems more at home in the sexy sphere. His sheer gowns outlined with looped leather fringe, or sprouting undulating, asymmetric ruffles, were striking and original.