Monday, 16 February 2015

ALTUZARRA Fall/Winter 2015/16

Joseph Altuzarra may have made his name by developing a strict and sexy silhouette for the urban-savvy swan the one with the big job and the budget to afford it (and why not? In this health-conscious era of personal training and medical advances on subtle time-defying upkeep, the idea of “ageless dressing” has never felt more relevant) but it was Truman Capote’s version, specifically eighteenth-century dandies, and the “Gloria Vanderbilt era,” that he had in mind for his fall 2015 collection. “A lot of it was about taking pleasure in dressing up,” the designer said at a preview some days ago, and fans needn’t fret those trademark slit skirts are still here, only now with fluted hems for a key bit of flounce, and so, too is that oft-cited gypsy-like romanticism, in weightless flowing velvet devoré and gold-paillette embroidered silks inspired by the pattern of a Tibetan carpet.

White lace ran through the collection in a thicker lacquered take and a thinner chantilly, here cleverly layered for a deep V-shaped seam that subtly mimicked the neckline of a cricket sweater, there in a dreamy frilled frock. Wide, regal fox collars adorned wool crepe and wool jacquard coats with those same fluted hems; a Prince of Wales check topper in warm, autumnal tones and honey caramel–colored fox was something that would put a back-to-school skip in anyone’s step, come fall. (And the perhaps less practical but where’s the fun in practical, if you can afford not to be? pale pink and icy blue fox fur clouds of coats that could have been candy-coated, for the reaction they inspired in showgoers. But it was the final series of evening looks those slinky burnished navy and burgundy velvets and silks, some topped with high patrician lace collars (and there is a perennial allure to white lace that can’t be ignored, and in the case of the designer’s frilled socks and knee-high boots in the fabric, won’t be), some bare to the sternum, that truly raised the collective pulse.

Altuzarra has been working with a new art director Thomas Lenthal, the publisher of Paradis magazine and cofounder of System on developing his house codas and thinking brand first, what he called “a lot of little things coming through,” and here that translated into new, maritime-inspired A-emblazoned buttons on a shearling collared peacoat and a brand new line of bull-whip accented bags (shown on the runway in hobo and saddle shapes, as well as a Dupont lighter–inspired clutch). “It’s nice when you reach a certain point where people start to understand what you’re about so you can sort of break out of it and take it somewhere else,” the designer said, and with each passing season it’s become increasingly apparent that wherever he leads, he will find no lack of followers anytime soon.

Joseph Altuzarra's new handbag collection got its debut on his runway this season. A cash influx courtesy of Kering, which invested in his brand late in 2013, made the new range possible. The polished leather bags, in large saddle shapes with thick, elaborately braided and tasseled straps, look unlike anything else on the market right now. That's no small feat. Take a gander the next time you're on an accessories floor. There are leaders and followers, and not much in between. Altuzarra's bags are a good metaphor for his business. From the start, he's been a designer who has known who his woman is. She's loaded, she's a provocateur, she's unafraid ofa thigh-high slit.


Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories 

Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Photos: Kevin Tachman (stills); Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages (runway)

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Two weeks ago saw luxurious lingerie label La Perla Atelier Spring 2015 Couture reveal a tantalizing glimpse of their breathtaking Inside-Out Spring/Summer 2015 collection in the opulent and intimate salon setting of Paris's Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild. Exploring the notion of ‘what we keep secret and what we reveal’, it represented ‘the underpinnings of the external image’.

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