Did you ever think you’d need a pailette covered jacket in turquoise blue? What about a pencil skirt with the same sequinned detailing in red and silver? I never thought I’d really ever want anything like that either, but after viewing Altuzaara’s newest Pre-fall collection I NEED them in my life!
Those are just two of the many highlights to be found within Joseph Altuzaara’s newest offering, which toes the line between fabulousity and functionality to stellar effect.
Mr. Altuzara went the experimental route for Pre-fall 2016, by creating an offering that’s much more relaxed than anything that he has previously done. The look is quite practical, with functional and chicly understated garments that all have a bit of quirky flair. Relaxed sweaters, t- shirts, embellished vests and printed stretch-waist trousers may be much different from the Altuzarra’s signature tailoring and sexy detailing (skintight pencil skirts slit to mid-thigh, unlined lace blouses, sheer tops with plunging V-necklines anyone?), but brand lovers need not worry about these new developments since they’re entirely fabulous.
It’s the first time I’ve seen such diversity in Altuzarra’s designs, with the designer experimenting extensively with new fabrics, shapes, and prints. He drew inspiration from three special-to-fashion decades- the 1930s, 1960s, and 1990s, to bring about his newest offering, but adapted his designed with his inspirations in such a way that he created something entirely new. “Playing with the idea of retro, but making it modern and wearable for today”, was how he described it at a presentation. It’s clear that he succeeded in doing just that. The look is retro but not overly so, with elements from each decade being combined and hybridized to create looks that would be chic in almost any era and time.
Definite modernity was achieved with the implementation of bright colours, patterns and embellishments of sequins and outsized pailettes that brought his designs straight into the modern world. Printed pencil skirts, shirtdresses, button-front blouses and trimed military-style jackets have been shown for decades, but here, when printed with bright polka dots or cricket striped, or heavily embellished with blown-up paillettes on necklines and hems (or on entire garments), the looks are entirely new. Each outfit was spectacularly styled with soft leather “shooties” (high-heeled shoe + bootie), trim leather belts, pretty resin earrings and new versions of the popular Altuzarra saddlebag to create looks that were at once grounded, but fabulous.
The extensive colours and textures may have seemed fanciful- but these were wearable garments, stabilized by Mr. Altuzarra’s sharp pragmatism and incredible eye for detail. Had it been done by another designer, the kookiness of this collection could have easily gone awry and it could have spiraled into being overpowering and comical. But Mr. Altuzarra deftly handled his work, melding all the parts of his design vision in such a way that everything worked.
By incorporating many of his signatures — the peacoat, the shirt dress, the sequined gown — the designer was able to create a line that had a “much wider range of end uses”, than most and give a clever nod to the transitional feeling of the season itself. These garments are meant to be worn regardless of the occasion, and there’s endless room to mix and match among looks. Who knows, a turquoise sequinned jacket may just find it’s way into some daytime wardrobes this year!
Pre-fall 2016 was also a season of firsts for the designer, as it marked the launch of the new “Shadow” capsule collection of packable, wrinkle-resistant stretch jersey pieces. The range of six classic Altuzarra silhouettes — two blazers, a pencil skirt, pant, top and dress, is intended to, “act as a uniform”, for clients, by building a base of core products where existing and future Altuzaara customers can build a customized collection of their own. “The idea is that you can buy a few of them, you can buy the whole collection and you can wear them together or separately”, Mr. Altuzarra explained, “…there is a need and desire for comfort, ease and pragmatism”.
His interest in building pillar products and core categories that are both easy to wear and comfortable, is the work of a designer with his eye on the future. What a great showing and I can’t wait to see what developments will come out of this in time.
XX – Ana