Is showing fashion classics more sustainable? Several designers in Paris seem to think so, Chloé’s Natacha Ramsay-Levi and Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello among them. Now you can add Joseph Altuzarra to the list.
In anticipation of starting a family (he and hubbie Seth Weissman are expecting a baby girl in six weeks), the Franco-American designer recently took up knitting again, like his grandmother taught him. It started him thinking about family heirlooms, and the kind of clothes that pass from one generation to the next.
The idea sparked a spring collection designed to stand the test of time, which merged the season’s tailoring and crafts impulses, as on Afghan knit, granny square sleeveless tops, sweaters and crochet skirts mixed with a tailored foundation that was rooted in memories of his dad.
Altuzarra already has several classics in his repertoire (not every young designer can say that), and he remixed them in a cheerful way.
Men’s navy-and-white-stripe tie-silk was crafted into his signature side-slit skirts or on a halter dress, and all-size dot scarves into an update on his popular handkerchief dress. Men’s Oxford shirting was patch-worked and elongated into classic dresses sliced by button plackets, while colorful striped silk dresses made from deadstock fabric swirled over second-skin leather, over-the-knee boots with gold chain accents.
In another show of sustainability, he reprised six suit designs he’s shown on the runway before, one in red gingham. “I love the idea of a suit as something that defies disposability,” he said. “We’re putting them on the runway again because we feel they are relevant season after season.”
For a more casual take on tailoring, he paired a red blazer with a royal blue suede midiskirt or vivid pink pants.
Altuzarra kept things subtle and timeless for evening as well, with a pale pink layered slipdress embroidered with tiny crystals after one his mom used to wear, followed by a pants suit in black dot jacquard to complete the parental picture. Mazel tov!