55 posts tagged "Joseph Altuzarra"
Last Friday, Joseph Altuzarra represented the good ol’ U.S.A. in the final round of the International Woolmark Prize. After winning the U.S. leg of the competition, the designer, who presented his Fall ’14 lineup just weeks ago, flew to Milan to present his standout collection of innovative, highly technical wool looks to an esteemed panel of judges. India’s Rahul Mishra ended up taking home the award, but Altuzarra, with his textural pastel knits and slick black tuxedo, proved a worthy opponent. Here, he shares a diary of his trip to Milan exclusively with Style.com.
Last Wednesday, after wrapping up our Fall/Winter collection, my team and I arrived in Milan to prepare and show our International Woolmark capsule collection as the U.S. finalist of the 2013/14 finals. Here’s a diary of our trip in Milan!
A quick pit stop at Museo del Novecento on our first day in Milan before we began preparations for the finals.
The top floor of the museum had a neon installation by Lucio Fontana that was commissioned for the Triennale di Milano in 1951. It was the perfect piece to brighten up a rainy day in the city.
Chatting about the IWP experience back at Woolmark HQ.
At fittings for our six looks for the finals. Although it is not the same as the number of looks for our regular seasons, it was still an important and exciting process! Continue Reading “Designer Diary: Joseph Altuzarra Takes Us Inside Milan’s International Woolmark Prize” »
Today in Milan, a panel of judges including Style.com’s Tim Blanks, Franca Sozzani, Angelica Cheung, Frida Giannini, Colin McDowell, and Alexa Chung selected the winner of the coveted International Woolmark Prize. Competitors included the States’ Joseph Altuzarra (who will be sending us a diary chronicling his experience), the U.K.’s Sibling, Asia’s Ffixxed, Australia’s Christopher Esber, and Rahul Mishra, who represented India and the Middle East. So which talent won the judges’ affections? That would be Mishra. Having shown a lineup focused on embroidery, the designer will take home $100,000 AU in prize money, and his Woolmark collection will be stocked in such retailers as Saks Fifth Avenue, 10 Corso Como, Harvey Nichols, and Joyce.
Strong showing from Joseph Altuzarra, I thought. A lot of young New York designers are all over the place, but Joseph seems to be settling into a nice rhythm, with an identifiable signature but also a sense of variation and development each season. The mood of luxe coziness reminded me a bit of the Hermès Fall 2013 show. A few designers have been taking their cues from that collection lately. As they should. It keeps getting better in the memory.
The staging was…well, I’ll let Maya Singer explain. Afterward, the show’s producer, Etienne Russo, who routinely orchestrates some of fashion’s most memorable spectacles, told me that the existential dread that came over you watching the interminable German acapella performance was all part of the plan. He intended it as an antidote to our instant gratification culture. And they say fashion is shallow…
This wasn’t my favorite Alex Wang show ever, but I got the sense that the crowd—particularly the European contingent—liked it a lot. And you can see why. In a city that gets knocked for playing it safe fashion-wise, Wang stands out for the scale of his ambition, evident in the staging, the clothes, and even in the ballsy decision to show in Brooklyn. Now let’s see some more of that ballsiness at Balenciaga, please.
The Italian label held a chic postshow dinner at Sean MacPherson’s newish hotel, The Marlton. How chic? Well, at the company’s request, there were no party photographers present. If this catches on, that should cause some existential angst among the fashion set. Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, the urbane, intelligent Moncler executive, introduced us with maximum casualness to his date: “This is my girl Jessica.” That would be Chastain.
UNDER THE RADAR
Patrick Li, that unabashed logo vandalizer and discerning creative director of T Magazine, thinks more people should be paying attention to A Détacher. He’s right.
The Fall ’14 Ready-to-Wear collections are under way in New York, and will be followed by the shows in London, Milan, and Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Fall ’14 previews is available here.
WHO: Altuzarra, designed by Joseph Altuzarra
WHERE: New York
WHEN: Saturday, February 8
WHAT: “Intersection.” —Joseph Altuzarra. The designer sent us a Fall ’14 inspiration image, above.
Shu Pei working a trim merino tuxedo is a sight for sore eyes—and it’s one that we were privy to last week when Joseph Altuzarra invited Style.com to his fourth-floor studio in Tribeca. The occasion was the lookbook shoot for his International Woolmark Prize capsule, which he’ll present to an esteemed panel of judges (including Franca Sozzani, Frida Giannini, and Style.com’s Tim Blanks) during Milan fashion week on February 21. As the victor of the national competition, which he won with a baby pink wool suit back in July, Altuzarra will represent the U.S. in the final round and compete against the U.K.’s Sibling, India’s Rahul Mishra, Australia’s Christopher Esber, and China’s ffiXXed for a grand prize of 100,000 AUD. “It’s an incredibly prestigious award,” said the designer, who recently sold a minor stake of his company to Kering. “Winning would be a great accomplishment for my team and me—and obviously, the cash prize would be very helpful.” He told us that the spoils would go toward expanding fabric production and development.
Judging by the woolly looks we saw on the designer’s rolling racks, he’s got a fighting chance. Comprising of clever knit dresses, a fit-and-flare black coat, layered skirt and sweater ensembles, and Pei’s tux, the mini collection is simultaneously signature Altuzarra and not, mainly because he experimented with a new (for him) method: needle-punching, a practice that seamlessly bonds two fabrics together via a gradual woven transition (see a sneak peek of the effect, above). “It’s not normally a technique I would use because it has a very different association than what the Altuzarra world is,” he explained. “It’s a bit crafty, and almost a little hippie in spirit.” However, there’s nothing “hippie” about Pei’s tux (or the rest of the collection, for that matter), which boasts the flippy little peplum we’ve often seen from the designer. In this instance, the needle-punching was used for the jacket’s fuzzy back panel. (It looks deceptively like fur.) Elsewhere, it was employed to create a degrade effect on frocks that are fuzzy on top and sheer on the bottom, and fuse bulky, textured knits with smooth, solid fabrics.
As for inspiration, Altuzarra ended up doing some thorough historical research. “Obviously, we were thinking about wool,” said the designer of the 100 percent merino collection. “But we wanted to work inside the Altuzarra vernacular, which is quite sexy, sensual, and seductive. I started thinking about how iconic wool garments were, and how they’ve been staples over time.” His key references were fishermen’s knits; 1950s skirt suits; and Brigitte Bardot’s soft, saucy sweaters (see his mood board, left). The latter motivated him to include a soft pink in his palette. Black, gray, and neutral hues are also in the mix. “I wanted to focus on technique, and the colors are quite pale so that you could really see what’s happening,” he said.
Altuzarra offered that he’s looking forward to meeting Woolmark’s other four finalists. Competition is bound to be fierce, but Altuzarra is hoping Pei, who will be accompanying him to Milan, turns out to be his ace in the hole. “When I first started and did my very first show, I cast her,” said Altuzarra. “She was the biggest model we had, so I was very, very, very excited. And I actually realized three seasons ago that I haven’t had a show without her since. She’s my good-luck charm.”
Check back next month to see Altuzarra’s exclusive diary from the competition.