When New York-based luxury brand Altuzarra got in touch with The Style Examiner to share its Autumn/Winter 2013 womenswear line, we were immediately seduced by the carefully positioned angles and shapes used throughout to construct elegant silhouettes. However, after examining the garments, it became undeniable that this was a most accomplished collection owing also to a playful gender balance between sharp masculine tailoring and voluminous feminine lines.
Inspired by the geometric lines found in urban architectural designs and street layouts, the collection resorted to opposing fabrics such as light chiffon and bonded crepe in contrast with heavy wools, leathers and furs in a palette of black, white, and dark greys and greens highlighted by dashes of bright orange. Throughout, the rectilinear and masculine tailoring of pieces such as the sharp flannel trousers or the biker jackets and the gunmetal hardware of snaps, rivets and industrial zippers was made softer by feminine touches such as the rounded shoulders or the emphasized peplum-like waist and hip lines of pencil skirts.
Born and raised in Paris by a Chinese-American mother and a French father, Joseph Altuzarra graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in Art and Art History. After moving to New York City, he interned at Marc Jacobs and went on to work at Proenza Schouler. Seeking to further enhance his technical construction skills, Altuzarra undertook an apprenticeship with patternmaker and former head of the Rochas atelier Nicolas Caïto, which provided the confidence to return to Paris and become first assistant to Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci.
Altuzarra’s talent has been recognised in the form of a number of awards, such as ‘Fashion Group International Rising Star of the Year’, ‘Out 100 Vanguard of the Year’, ‘Ecco Domani Award’ and ‘Forbes 30 under 30’. In 2011, he received the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award which was followed, in 2012, by the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear Design.