With just 70 guests in his studio, Joseph Altuzarra’s fall 2024 New York Fashion Week runway had the feel of a salon show, reflecting the designer’s desire to return to something pared-back and exclusive for the 15th anniversary of his business.
This wasn’t a greatest hits collection or anything like that, but it was a blueprint for the way forward for the next 15 and beyond, executing on a strategy to deliver special pieces with the end customer in mind.
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“I don’t think people are going into a store and buying into a story now,” he told WWD during an interview. Previously, the black-and-white Harlequin hero dress that came out midshow would have been part of a story with a pleated skirt and a button-down sweater version — a very merchandised offering, he said.
Instead, there were an array of delights like it that lived completely independently of the rest of the collection, such as a black faux-fur three-quarter-length diva coat with charming silver bird embroideries, a black tuxedo shirt completely covered in bugle beads, and a black sheer lace dress with triangle crystal bra — all of them deserving of a Hollywood red carpet, or at least a night out at a fancy soiree.
The overarching idea for fall 2024 was “looking dressed,” said the designer, who was inspired by English riding apparel, the Art Deco glamour of Tamara de Lempicka portraits and the romantic style of Princess Diana, among other things.
To the genteel exploration of presentation and performance, he added nods to the ballet and circus — cozy looking legwarmers, bodysuits and sweater dresses that projected some needed ease, harlequin patterns and whimsical Pierrot collars for fun.
There was some gorgeous outerwear, including a chocolate brown double-faced cashmere trench with a slightly cocooning back, a camel toggle coat, and a caped cavalry twill jacket, paired back to jodphurs or long romantic skirts.
Silk tanks and bias-cut skirts and dresses came in several delicious shades of ivory, worn with boiled wool jackets or shearling bombers.
Altuzarra’s dress of the season came in an abstract equestrian brushstroke print inspired by vintage scarves found in Paris.
“Because we knew people were going to be so close to the clothes, we really wanted to highlight how well made they are,” he said, noting details like covered buttons and hand-hammered buttons. “Our process to design and make the collection is essentially a year and a half. Everything is super considered,” he said. It showed.
Launch Gallery: Altuzarra Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection
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