Dispatches from New York: Altuzarra

The latest from the front row


Coming off the back of his excellent spring/summer show, expectations were even higher than usual for Joseph Altuzarra.

The collection, said the show notes, was inspired by 18th century dandies and Truman Capote’s ‘Swans’ (the name given to the author’s female society friends) and paid homage to their love of clothes. The idea of contrasting two eras and two sets of sartorial show-offs was, thankfully, not at all literal. The designer used this as his starting point from which to mine a rich palette of materials and put them together in intriguing ways: traditional shooting wools with lace, for example, or frothy furs with shiny leather.


You could spot the socialite swathed in powder pink or blue fur and her svelte skirts that flipped out at the hem. As for the dandy, his frilled high necks featured on pretty day blouses and on more engineered pieces, like the faultlessly constructed evening dresses that shimmered.

The collection had all the polish of a young Kering brand (the luxury goods group became a minority shareholder in Altuzarra in 2013) and while Altuzarra did an excellent job of hammering home his brand identity – that of sophistication and seduction – the clothes never quite sparked the magical heights of last season. But that says more about the pace of the industry and its ever more demanding production schedules than it does about this very talented designer.

See the full collection now

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