Joseph Altuzarra made headlines this week when it was announced that Kering (the mother ship behind Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, among other labels) had taken a minority interest in his company. This collection was completed before the deal was signed, but the news added to the buzz surrounding the designer's show, already one of the most anticipated of the New York season.
He didn't sweat it. Where his Fall collection felt somewhat strained, this one put the emphasis on effortlessness. Sometimes ease can be a code word for basics. Altuzarra embraces separates, but blouse or skirt or cropped jacket, each and every one is thoughtfully considered. It takes a lot of work to look as artfully déshabillé as Joan Smalls did in her striped silk button-down (down to the waist, that is) and three-quarter-length skirt with thigh-high slit. Willowy silhouette established, Altuzarra offered variations on a theme. Blouses also came in banker's blue cotton or a patchworked indigo print. Cropped jackets were hand-embroidered in the style of Japanese boro fabrics. And trompe l'oeil dresses looked like thin-gauge sweaters worn over narrow silk skirts. Other designers make a fetish of fantasy. Altuzarra genuinely gets off on making clothes for real life. For him, it's about the everyday, only elevated.
For evening, Altuzarra sourced fabric made from metallic threads that looked like poured platinum and gold. The generous swags of fabric on the front of dresses and skirts added bulk between the waist and the hips. If there was a quibble here, it's that they'll prove troublesome for all but the slimmest of his clients. Fastened with a crystal-studded strap at the waist, his gorgeous smokings offered a more equal-opportunity chic.