It’s been quite a year for Joseph Altuzarra.
The Manhattan-based designer is hot property right now. In July, the 30 year-old was announced as the United States region finalist for the International Woolmark Prize (IWP), an honour that will see him head to Milan Fashion Week in early 2014 to compete in the grand final.
“A lot of it is about being very focused on who you’re designing for, who the woman is and creating a story around it that makes sense.”- Joseph Altuzarra.”
The following month, it was revealed that French luxury conglomerate Kering had taken a minority stake in Altuzarra’s five-year-old fashion label, an encouraging sign—the same company, then known as PPR, took on a young designer by the name of Stella McCartney in 2001 and turned her into a AUD$140 million enterprise.
Altuzarra was also tasked with designing the green room at the Emmy Awards in September so the rich and famous could wait in luxury before taking to the stage.
Somewhere amidst the awards shows and deals, the focus was back on the one thing that garnered Altuzarra all the attention in the first place: the clothes.
Taking to the runway of New York Fashion Week the designer presented the vision for his brand for spring/summer 2014. As always, there was an inherent utilitarianism to the collection, a wearability and focus on the woman beneath the clothes that has become a hallmark of the label.
As Altuzarra himself says, he is not interested in exploration for exploration’s sake.
“A lot of the times I think more about how [the clothes are] going to live with our customer and how they’re going to live within their wardrobe and what function they’re going to have,” he said on the eve of the show.
And so the focus was on easy-to-wear effortlessness. Striped silk blouses open to the navel next to calf-length skirts slit dangerously high on the thigh offered a racy take on the prim and proper secretary, albeit one that likely wouldn’t meet with the approval of the human resources department. Pockets and straps abounded, the latter adding movement as well as practicality.
Knits and blazers were cropped, permitting artful summer layering, while flowing asymmetric ponchos brought heavier coverage in graphic black stripes.
By night, things get a little bit rock ’n’ roll for the Altuzarra woman if she so chooses, in purple and black fringed leather. Sophistication came in the form of embroidered tailoring—a chic, white pantsuit, for instance—lamé fabrics got the party started, lending a little metallic sparkle to evening. Although, in true Altuzarra form, pared back next to neutral body suits and trousers to preserve that signature wearability.
The show had all the ease and confidence of a designer on his way up. And given the recent buzz around the brand, expect to hear a lot more from Joseph Altuzarra. The man is going places. And fast.
Closing the fall/winter 2017 season, designers at Paris Fashion Week used wool in innovative ways
In the autumn/winter 2016 collections at Seoul Fashion Week, local designers presented their innovative wares to the world