Altuzarra Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 New York
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Altuzarra Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2014 New York

The biggest news to come out of New York Fashion Week was the announcement on Friday that Kering (the luxury brand formally known as PPR) had taken a minority interest in designer Joseph Altuzarra’s fashion company. The support of a luxury giant like Kering, which has a proven track record of nurturing former fledgling designers like Stella McCartney and  Alexander McQueen, has put Altuzarra (along with wunderkind Alexander Wang who is now designing for Kering’s Balenciaga brand) in the pole position for fashion greatness.

So the mood was rather celebratory at the designer’s spring/summer 2014 show on Saturday night. And although his collection was fully formed before the deal had been done, the reasons why Kering decided to back to the designer were right there on the catwalk for all the world to see.

This was a sophisticated show for women who appreciate a nonchalant approach to elegance, even if they might spend hours getting that “effortless” look just right.

There was much for those women to love in this collection. Which, according to the show note got its start in the patchwork clothing of Japanese Boro.  But if that was where Altuzarra started his research for this collection he didn’t stay in Japan for long. Other then a smattering of beautiful Boro printed pieces, the clothing seemed to find a more natural home in the warmer climates of say the south of France or sunny Spain.  The stripe silk torchon-esque tops and slim side split skirts, embellished with drawstring fastenings, had a cool sexuality about them. While wool poncho capes and fringed leather dresses brought some structure and movement into the mix of form fitting silhouettes. As did the draping and gathering of  shining metallic fabric at the waist that the designer used on his evening gowns.

Other standout pieces sure to soon become a signature for the designer (and copied in fast fashion outlets around the globe) were the layered “shrunken sweater” tops and the crisp shirts crafted from panels of different men’s shirting fabrics.

Altuzarra has a clear and firm grasp on what his ready to wear should look like. And fans of the brand will be snapping up quite a few pieces from this collection. Now all the designer needs to do is come up with a killer handbag and he will have it made in the fashion shade.

- Jessica Michault