Joseph Altuzarra took a totally different path this season, leaving behind cherry sweetness of last summer. Looking at his autumn-winter 2017 collection, ‘heavy’ is the term that matches best, but not in the negative meaning of this word. In fact, everything was ‘heavy’ about the collection, from the atmosphere to the clothes. Delightful velvets in dark colour palette (except a few yellow ensembles); knee-length, lace-up boots; fur coats and jackets; richness of embroideries and embellishments. The styling of these preciously-looking clothes was made-to-measure for a woman, who loves Altuzarra‘s fashion – she’s both, romantic and sophisticated. As the designer said, his main aim was to build a dialogue between the past and today. However, the past felt more dominant in this conversation. Renaissance motifs were the main inspiration, for a reason.
Pre-fall 2017 season kicked off a week ago and the first collection, which caught my eye, comes straight from Joseph Altuzarra‘s studio. According to Altuzarra, next autumn won’t be a reason to forget blooming nature. Specifically, the Pre-Raphaelite take on nature appealed to the designer, who sent out a line of toned botanical dresses and flower embroidered knits. The silhouettes were flowy and loosely fit, unlike spring-summer 2017 Wild at Heart collection, which feautured sultry bras and pencil skirts printed with cherries and lemons. However, Altuzarra woman isn’t just into romantic flowers: she has an obsession with well-tailored jackets (in red, if possible), business-smart capes and all-knit looks. It’s a wise collection for autumn, after all. And if we’re speaking of autumn, then let’s note all those gorgeous knee-lenght boots. They look irrestible, whether in black or pale lilac.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
“I wanted something that felt happy, joyous, flirty, and fun” said Joseph Altuzarra backstage at his optimistic spring-summer 2017. The times we live now are complicated, so why should fashion be so serious? Ultimately, shopping should be a therapy, and sometimes you just want to buy colours and, most of all, pleasure. That was something I missed in the last few Altuzarra collections, and I’m extremely happy see it back in the designer’s newest outing. Berry prints on ruffled slip dresses were so, so cute, while the python leather coat with hand embroidered cherries was the show’s highlight. Altuzarra’s summer outing is sexy, too – ruffled bra styled with a faux-denim leather skirt (all in lemons!) is a favourite. Also, note the romantic tights, all in mini-roses and, again, mini-cherries. Who would thought that Altuzarra can be so frivolous? Rather than doing his signature business version of femme-fatale, Joseph definitely had something of a sweet, Italian dolce vita in his mind.
After minimal spring-summer 2016, Joseph Altuzarra surprised everybody with his bohemian and much more risky autumn-winter outing. The designer openly confessed that he began imagining the new collection in his head after seeing the cult film Only Lovers Left Alive (to which I have referred while reviewing Rodarte’s last season and Haider Ackermann’s menswear) by Jim Jarmusch. The film, which had Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston play romantic vampires, made Joseph think of their elusive and sometimes lethal curiosity. “They have very esoteric interests, and they live in a lush but isolated world. I wanted this show to be about trying different things not necessarily connected.” And indeed, Altuzarra is wildly mixing prints and textiles for the upcoming winter, which seems more than new for the brand. Paisley, leg-exposing skirts, embroidered red carpet gowns, tribal knits and bohemian dresses with oriental patterns feel bold and open-minded for different cultures.
For the Altuzarra fans, the signatures are here, too, but they were revamped with lovely embroideries and delicate floral applications – the femme-fatale silhouettes and tailoring is always on point in the designer’s collections, just like the nomadic outerwear. But what distinctly felt like a break-down from the super-sleek Altuzarra woman was the models’ hair – curls and afros looked natural and real. Note Alice Metza, Binx Walton and Imaan Hammam, please.
Whoever said that sequins are overrated, did not consider Altuzarra‘s Pre-Fall 2016 collection. The unexpected paillette sequins, which covered the sporty jackets, mesh dresses and fancy midi skirts gave a bold bling-bling moment. Although this New York-based designer is rather known for his minimal aesthetic, the new look-book for next autumn is booming with colour. And an aristocratic, appealingly arty elegance. Lets not forget the subtle polka-dots on pastel blue t-shirt & pants set which takes it back to the label’s feminine codes. This might all sound like a very over-the-top collection, but the effect is totally different – the richly sequined pieces are toned with autumnal shades of brown and grey, making Joseph Altuzarra‘s new season a good choice for those who like a bit of fantasy in their cozy-knitwear-filled wardrobes.