In an abrupt shift from last season's dreamy seventies-inflected stenciled ponchos and shredded suede and point d'esprit apron dresses, Joseph Altuzarra sent out a fierce and fearless collection of structured tailoring, commanding outerwear, and seriously sexy dresses. Ironically, some designers have been moving in the opposite direction lately, and yet Altuzarra
's counterintuitive move was completely convincing. Backstage he explained he wanted to explore the dichotomies between strength and fragility, modern reality and fairy tales. At the outset, it was hard to see where the fragility came in, so potent and imposing was the first model out in her jacket pieced together, in the au courant manner, from nubby wool, leather, and goat fur. A second glance, however, revealed that the seams at the back of the blazer's arms were stitched roughly, like sutures.
The Edward Scissorhands
motif continued throughout: Sometimes the stitches were taut, revealing just a flash of skin between the curving seams of a pair of narrow pants; other times, Altuzarra took a looser approach, as when knitting together the splices in a stretchy hourglass dress. Even the boots were slashed to reveal the ankle. Belts and buckles, meanwhile, provided another suggestive element. There were shades of S&M in a pencil skirt with straps holding its hip-high slits together. The blood red evening dresses flashing décolletage and thigh weren't for the faint of heart, either.
This was just Altuzarra's third collection, but the confidence of his technique and vision would suggest that his newcomer days are over.