Review of Altuzarra

Fall 2022

Review of Altuzarra Fall 2022 Fashion Show

Travels and Tribulations

By Anna Ross

Joseph Altuzarra has been on a journey of late. Throughout the pandemic, the dress-heavy label felt the stain against a world turning to slacks, while at home, the designer was facing a new challenge in raising a newborn during a global lockdown. Add to that a recent breakup with stakeholder Kering (the brand acquired a 40% minority stake in 2013,), and you could have yourself a recipe for a brand on its last legs.

But the designer is made of tougher stuff. His collection tonight proved his resilience and aptitude for experimentation and exploration.

As such, the central theme of the show was pinned on that very narrative. “I want this collection to not only evoke the intrepid and adventurous spirit, but also mystery and darkness,” said the designer of his latest outing, which was as sizable as it was varied, featuring looks that spanned everything from heavy winter coats to crochet dresses and crop tops. A strategic move, given that the brand has cut down from four collections per year to two, thus providing a more trans-seasonal approach across each lineup. As a result, the collection felt a touch fragmented at times, but for an Altuzarra customer, you can’t get too much of a good thing.

The collection began its journey in deepest winter, layered up to the nines with long coats, fur-lined jackets, cropped sailor knits and floor sweeping skirts, decorated with dancing gypsette belts for the brand’s bohemé spin. I’ll blame the styling, but these introductory looks felt a touch heavy-handed. I couldn’t help but think if you weren’t a size 0, you’d look as if you’d put on all your clothes to save on luggage at the airport (just me?).

This idea worked better when the lines were loosened, as seen on a monochromatic cream look featuring a relaxed sweater shape.

Luckily, the mood continued to lighten, with the designer flexing what he knows best: covetable dresses. These moved from true bohemian handkerchief styles, abundant with tie-dye and laden with embroidery, whipstitching and sea-traveler’s treasures, to a beautiful pleated leather tunic that appeared to fold around the body like origami.

Two-piece knits were a welcome introduction throughout; when the journey’s over, those pieces will look just as well thrown together with jeans or sweatpants – a surefire sign of more everyday items entering the designer’s vernacular.

Although with Altuzarra, just as one journey ends, another begins: around the corner came the treasure of a thousand giant palettes adorning the last leg of his trip: stellar occasionwear. Their decadence was such that you could hear them before seeing them, which is quite a way to make an entrance.

People say that traveling is the only thing you can buy to make you richer. With that in mind, Joseph Altuzarra’s travels, trials and tribulations seem to have deepened his brand and his focus with a new type of gold. The road ahead looks bright.