Joseph Altuzarra looked to northern Renaissance paintings and the dark heroines of classic Shakespeare for Fall 2017. He said that period affected him because the artist '[was] moving away from stylised depictions of the human form and the human face, and starting [to render] their subjects really as they looked, with all their flaws and all their imperfections.'
Lady Macbeth, in particular, made a mark. 'Look like th’ innocent flower, But be the serpent under ‘t,' read the show notes. Thus, Altuzarra’s woman was meant to be slightly sinister. She may look lush, but she isn’t sweet. And she is raw to the viewer’s eye.
Or that was the concept at least. The collection itself drew quite literally from the Renaissance period. There were highly embellished brocade gowns, complete with gold detailing and intricately stitched floral patterns; tailored coating – always a strong point for the designer - including a ladylike white number with black buttons and a sweeping red and black micro houndstooth jacket and beautifully tailored suiting - see: a form-fitting red velvet option and a deep blue velvet pairing. These are not suits for the office.
One editor said the collection looked like Dolce & Gabbana light. I disagree, but there was a sense of preciousness in some of the more embellished pieces that does not suggest modernity. Nevertheless, in the less literally inspired pieces, we found what makes Altuzarra so strong - the cut was alluring, suggestive, but in no way obvious - and the details were killer. Black leather gloves, worn past the elbows, and punk laced boots finished the collection off. The Altuzarra woman may reside uptown, but she has a trace of downtown’s youthful rebellion.