It was ultra-sophisticated and brilliantly cinematic (Cruella de Ville-inspired even) at Altuzarra for Autumn/Winter 2013 – signalling a welcome return to roots for the young designer famed for his unforgettably risqué Edward Scissorhands and Catwoman-like creations of seasons past. While his chameleonic ability to present a radically new vision each season has captivated fashion's elite from his label's inception, it was his A/W 12 collection that thrust him firmly into the global spotlight. Since then, Joseph Altuzarra has risen to new heights, receiving countless accolades by the industry’s best – as though proving he deserves every ounce of praise awarded him of late, his vision for the upcoming season was his most confident yet.
Models stepped out in dramatic black and white mix fur outerwear and oversize mittens, paired with expertly tailored dresses, pant-suits and super-skinny slacks in a monochrome palette punctuated by shots of taupe and popping orange. Watching the parade of beautifully structured and unapologetically severe designs pass by, I was immediately reminded of something Altuzarra said to me recently during an interview for Harper’s Bazaar. 'I design for women, not girls - so the idea of empowerment is an important factor when I design. It’s become more crucial as women have taken on increasingly powerful positions in the workplace.'