New York Fashion Week spring-summer 2013: Altuzarra

Fashion Critic

NEW YORK -- It was one of the most eagerly anticipated shows of the first few days of New York Fashion Week. Joseph Altuzarra, winner of the 2011 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award and a rising star on the New York fashion scene since launching his collection in 2008, has a fan base that includes Michelle Williams and Salma Hayek. He showed his spring 2013 collection at a downtown photography studio on Saturday night. And not even thunderstorms or the threat of tornadoes could keep the fashion crowd away.

The inspiration: The 1992 film “Orlando,” (which starred Tilda Swinton), based on the book by Virginia Woolf about an English courtier who wakes up one day transformed into a woman. The story, like the collection, traveled through time and place, from the 17th century to the present, Elizabethan England to imperial Russia to the exotic alleys of Constantinople.

The look. Rich hippie. Haute work wear meets baroque Bedouin. Utilitarian-looking railroad-stripe or khaki cotton jackets with gathered peplums and two-way zipper details. Deco beaded silk pants. Blazers and halter dresses with gold fringe neck scarves attached. Macrame fringe skirts. Draped “scarf dresses” with scalloped embroidery or rich crystal embellishment.


The scene: Star-studded. Jessica Chastain, Kate Bosworth and Mamie Gummer (actress and daughter of Meryl Streep) were all sitting front row, dressed in Altuzarra, of course.

The verdict: Stunning eye candy. Complex, special clothes executed beautifully. The Paris-born, New York-based Altuzarra deserves all the buzz he’s getting.


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