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Altuzarra’s tribes take to the street

By Emily Cronin

The word of the day at New York Fashion Week may as well be ‘mitts’. After Alexander Wang showed boxing-glove-like fur mitts at 5:00pm, Joseph Altuzarra followed with skunk striped hand-warmers, also in fur, at his 7:00pm show.

If the show order had been reversed, everyone would compare Wang’s accessories to Altuzarra’s. But both designers benefit from the comparison, since they’re behind two of the most anticipated collections at New York Fashion Week.

Altuzarra pitched his show, mitts and all, as an exploration of ‘the street’. It was city-slick from the first look to the last, starting with the fitted wool pantsuit and exaggerated-shoulder leather bolero of the opening look. The power suits relaxed a little when they shifted into mini-dresses with button-open thigh splits, and leather dresses that appeared to zip open over mesh panels. Finally, Altuzarra’s vixen came out in strength, in moulded, corset-stitched leather dresses.

Backstage, the designer described the procession of looks as ‘different tribes’, from corporate girls to glamazons. If his inspiration was less fantastical and more reality-based than in past collections, it was no less sexy for it. ‘Every collection plays with that idea of sexy and sensuality,’ he said, ‘but in this one, the sexiness was very overt.’

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