With the news that Joseph Altuzarra had just had a minority stake bought by the all-powerful Kering conglomerate (bets off re who’s going to milk the latest product in the empire, then), all eyes were on on Altuzarra’s first coming out since being associated with the group. New York Fashion Week is no finer way to make a splash when your name’s already high on the fash press’s lips. Kering, with the tumultuous success of Stella McCartney, appear to be on the look-out for another designer whose appeal to women is in the simplicity of staples and ‘wardrobe-adding’.
Altuzarra breezed in and took it in his stride for S/S’14. This was easy-oasy, relaxed and rolling a fine line between controlled, up-town NYC woman with a ‘just got ready in 5’ attitude. The mix of pale cottons with metallic threads for the merest hint of glitz, sparse stripes and hybrid wraps that simultaneously appeared easy to wear yet airing a chicer-than-thou vibe will sell in droves. Easy to understand, easy to replicate, easy to wear. I can almost hear Bergdorf’s buyers on the phone now, upping the quantity of that order.
The Kimono like tops with trailing sleeves mixed an Eastern feel but with symmetrical, pared-back taste. Layering was the message: Cropped jackets over thin jersey, then over silk and contrasted with a narrow, side split skirt. Trompe L’Oeil dresses made an appearance as did a very European tinged, Margiela-like crop jacket, all trailing ties and contrast layering and with narrow shoulders. The fringed pieces will be the hit of the sales floor. Edge-to-edge and dripping in understated taste, the jacket, wrapped and worn under a skirt gave a new feel.
Elsewhere, Altuzarra’s trademark polished simplicity – fine cotton, blue shirts worn down to here and paired with a skirt slit up to here will deliver both power and sexy on 5th Avenue. Sharply defined narrow pant tuxedo suits vied with cotton jersey skirts and dresses, worn for evening and teamed with metallic shimmer may not rock any boats for newness in the ‘wow’ factor stakes but showed Altuzarra’s New York devotees that he had their vision at heart.
He just may be the 21st Century Donna Karan that a new breed of global New Yorkers flock to. Kering will lap it up.
Catwalk imagery kindly supplied by www.style.com. Click on the link to see more updates from the New York S/S’14 shows.