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Altuzarra: all work and no play

Published
today Mar 4, 2018
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To La Coupole at Saturday lunchtime, to witness the latest collection by Joseph Altuzarra dedicated, rather seriously, to work wear.
 

Altuzarra, fall/winter 2018 - Pixelformula


The famed Montparnasse restaurant is celebrated for its frescos and paintings by legendary artists, though they did not seem to terrifically inspire a restrained and relatively modest collection by the designer. This was all about creating a wardrobe for busy contemporary women; though staging the show in a restaurant only made one think of Ladies Who Lunch.
 
Turns out the Altuzarra lady is a rather solemn figure; who strolls to her office or art gallery in chalk stripe coats, cut with upper flaps or broken pattern Prince of Wales three-piece suits – all finished with large buttons.

For dinner, the designer cooked up dark purple floral dresses with peaked shoulders, dissected by woven leather belts. And his finale of multi-grommet dresses and tops in suede, leather and cable wool had great punch. He also dreamed up some outstanding tie-dye silk dresses and you had to love his accessories, such as his faux futurist orange wrap sunglasses – ideal with a soundtrack that included the Love Theme from Blade Runner. Vangelis would have been pleased.
 
“The collection grew around the idea of memories of women I grew up with – from my mother getting dressed for work; and my teachers, to women I saw on the street in Paris in the Eighties; and those in the pages of magazines,” explained the designer in his show notes.
 
However, his color palette was muddy, even dull – walnut, almond, storm gray and teal – in a season where many Paris collections are crammed with muted hues. The optimistic color explosion of the London season is a distant memory.
 
Altuzarra could boast a fine selection of high-heel suede mechanic boots and fabulous twig shaped earrings, all great panache. However, this felt very much like a designer being overly determined to create commercial clothes rather than advance the fashion vernacular. Hence, it felt like a step back from Altuzarra’s stellar collection seen in September in a Paris high-school courtyard. From fabulous to the familiar and even formulaic.

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