Joseph Altuzarra just wants everybody to be happy. Happy and hot. Not an unhappy prescription for fashion, especially when spun through the unlikely vortex of a David Lynch movie, if Lynch were a Frank Capra kind of guy. You know, upbeat.
Altuzarra was drawn to the “crazy, fun, weird atmosphere” of Lynch’s “Wild at Heart,” but not its dark side. “I guess I just want something really fun,” he said during a preview. “This is not a happy time. People want to wear happy things.”
In that spirit of mood elevation, what’s happier than a beautiful young woman working her wiles with polite flash and a touch of humor? To that end, Altuzarra crossed Laura’s Dern’s Lula with a touch of Carmen Miranda: color! midriffs! ruffles! There were even lemons and cherries galore, though not on fruit-bearing headgear, but in prints and embroideries on the clothes, bags and shoes.
The prevailing silhouette was classic sexy — ruffled slipdress; hip-hugging skirt worn with frilled bra top, tailored jacket, skinny knit or some combination therein. Altuzarra didn’t ease into the flamboyance, opening with a denim-printed python jacket embroidered with sequined lemons over a flounced cherry-print bra-and-skirt duo. Python proved a major theme: “Sailor wore that jacket all through,” Altuzarra said of Nicholas Cage’s character. The scales came in printed dresses and again, for real, in a snazzy trenchcoat with embroidered cherries on top.
Altuzarra de-frothed with bird’s-eye checks, cargo jackets and vamp-by-day striped knits that bared the shoulder. Throughout, he worked in fresh takes on the core of staples he established early in his career. Exhibit A: those must-have shirtdresses, now in lean-not-mean printed python with a broderie anglaise border or breezy, full-skirted checks. Exhibit B: the best kind of eveningwear — interesting. Though not wild, his embroidered tiered beauties were exquisite at heart — and on the surface. Which is to say highly photogenic. Oh, Emmy ladies…