Joseph Altuzarra loves a cinematic reference. For resort, he looked to “3 Women,” Robert Altman’s dreamy, dangerous tale of a bizarre personality exchange between two of the titular characters. Fashion plays a big role — one woman obsessed with style and artifice, the other, a meek church-mouse type, with both personalities telegraphed to perfection in their clothes.
Altuzarra drew less from that disturbing dichotomy than from the film’s physical setting, a Southwestern desert town. From there, he took his palette, which was dominated by earth tones injected with splashes of brights, as well as, he said, “the general American heritage of Western wear”; from 1977, the year of the film’s release, he took whiffs of retro from the relaxed, body-con silhouettes so prevalent during that decade.
The trope worked well for the suitings that are consistently the brand’s top-selling category. That said, Altuzarra applied the suiting concept loosely, in unmatched tailored pieces such as a shrunken beige jacket worn over pants cut lean and flared, a row of buttons running up several inches from the hem creating a bit of unfussy interest. Speaking of unfussy, a utilitarian horse blanket inspired a sturdy-chic wrap skirt paired with a cropped sweater with various semiprecious gemstones for buttons. Altuzarra also showed fluid dresses, including new takes on his now-signature handkerchief dresses and a chevron beauty crafted from strips of fabrics, some of them deadstock. Often, he topped these with suede or leather outerwear pieces, heightening the Western aura and that Seventies allure of sporty sensuality.
With its chevrons, multiple prints and craft-inspired treatments such as unmatched stitching and sampler-embroidery knitwear, the collection had a lot going on. But Altuzarra tempered the visual intensity with his controlled silhouettes and an overall light touch that gave the looks an inviting earthy attitude.
He lightened up in another way, as well: Altuzarra introduced the Clog bag, a wooden-based variation on his Espadrille bag, only, he said, “lighter than the Espadrille. We hollowed out the wood.”