Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Altuzarra

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Joseph Altuzarra has been taking to the New York Fashion Week schedule for five seasons now with investment from Kering behind him. And it’s serving him well – each season his aesthetic moving on and stepping up into something more refined and more luxe. This collection was an absolute case in point: flamboyant, sinuous and sexy, this was an incredibly seductive collection.

Sexy high boots, we’ll take them; pie-crust ruffles on white lace dresses that were barely dresses at all, yes please; fluting pencil skirts that splayed playfully around the knees, definitely. It was all cut beautifully and just as much as it was sassy, it came with a repressed primness – those high ruffled collars that hinted at Victoriana strictness.

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Altuzarra had cited Truman Capote’s social swans and Gloria Vanderbilt as muses. “I was interested in American High Society in the Seventies and the aesthetic dialogue that it fostered in design, fashion and art,” he explained. And with this suitably fashionable and social fairytale in place, he added his own interest of eclecticism spanning the Sixties to the Eighties, as well as a dash of contemporary culture – the latter of which kept it all in wearable check, and made the use of slits, sequins and lace, velvet and devoré, and pie-crust collars all the more clever and enticing.

This was a new take on the lady of the manor.

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Feathered Feet

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Who needs practical shoes anyway?

At Altuzarra and House of Holland, designers Joseph Altuzarra and Henry Holland posed a much more lively solution for those days when you feel like getting dressed from the bottom up: feathered, open-toe sandals. At Altuzarra’s Resort showing, hefty servings of vermilion and jet plumage pooled around models’ toes—a new take on swanning around, perhaps? The designer’s femmes weren’t the type to be precious with their heels, however. Instead, he showed them with a variety of styles, including an office-appropriate white suit, a cocktail-ready dress with a slit slashed up the thigh, and a beachy marigold dress with frayed edges, suggesting that a feathered foot works in any scenario.

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Over in London, Holland mixed Peruvian textures with “Cali skater girl” vibes for a bright, patterned collection that had no shortage of his signature flair. His feathered shoes tended toward ombré, with purple fading into magenta, and electric blue giving way to shocking pink. The most memorable pair, though, came in a jolt of neon green. Appropriate for the foothills of Peru or the skateboards of Venice Beach? Maybe not. But Holland’s clique of British It girls will no doubt be wearing them this season. And if posh New Yorkers and fun-loving Brits can agree on feathered feet, then maybe it’s time for us all to give the trend a try.

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2015 CFDA Awards | 04/06/2015

  Womenswear Designer of the Year nominees:
Joseph Altuzarra, Altuzarra
Marc Jacobs
Michael Kors
Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez, Proenza Schouler
WINNER: Mary-Kate Olsen & Ashley Olsen, The Row

Menswear Designer of the Year nominees:
Thom Browne
Tim Coppens
WINNER: Tom Ford
Dao-Yi Chow & Maxwell Osborne, Public School
Marcus Wainwright & David Neville, Rag & Bone

Accessories Designer of the Year nominees:
Alexander Wang
WINNER: Tabitha Simmons
Mary-Kate Olsen & Ashley Olsen, The Row
Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez, Proenza Schouler
Irene Neuwirth 

Swarovski Award for Womenswear nominees:
WINNER: Rosie Assoulin
Dao-Yi Chow & Maxwell Osborne, Public School
Ryan Roche

Swarovski Award for Menswear nominees:
WINNER: Shayne Oliver, Hood by Air
Alex Orley, Matthew Orley & Samantha Orley, Orley
Shimon Ovadia & Ariel Ovadia, Ovadia & Sons

Swarovski Award for Accessory Design nominees:
Paul Andrew
Eva Zuckerman, Eva Fehren
WINNER: Rachel Mansur & Floriana Gavriel, Mansur Gavriel

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Betsey Johnson

International Award: Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino

The Founder’s Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert: Mickey Drexler

The Media Award in Honor of Eugenia Sheppard: Instagram

Fashion Icon Award: Pharrell Williams

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It may have been a long night, but the CFDA Fashion Awards, held as usual at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, weren’t boring. James Corden, of The Late Late Show fame and the evening’s first-time host, started things off by lampooning the industry to the tune of “to dream ‘The Impossible Dream,’” and got progressively more fearless as his bit went on, sticking it to Terry Richardson, who wasn’t in the audience to defend himself, and Kanye West, who was. “Kim and Kanye are both presenting this evening,” Corden said. “I should warn you that Kanye is going to interrupt both speeches to say that Beyoncé should have won them.”

West made no interruptions, but he did deliver one of his trademark soliloquies when it came time to introduce this year’s Fashion Icon, Pharrell Williams, near the end of the ceremony. “What’s up, CFDA? You know how [President] Obama brought out the angrier version of himself? I’m sort of like the angrier version of Pharrell.” After rapping the opening lines of “New Slaves,” he took the crowd to task for “completely destroying” his first collection, which, he reminded the audience, sold out—$6,000 shoes included. When he eventually did wind around to the subject of Williams, West said, “there would be no me, no A$AP [Rocky], without Pharrell being the nicer version of Obama.” Williams, displaying his own trademark niceness, had kind words for everyone from his jeweler Lorraine Schwartz to “the genius” Rei Kawakubo.

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In between, Chelsea Clinton took to the stage for a remembrance of Oscar de la Renta; the Italian actress Valeria Golino paid tribute to the Italian designers and International Award winners Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino; and Kelly Osbourne made an endearing speech about Betsey Johnson, the evening’s Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Yes, Johnson is 72 (she’s got two years on J.Crew’s Mickey Drexler, who picked up the Founder’s Award). And yes, she did do a cartwheel into a perfect split, jostling loose a few crystals from her bib necklace, before accepting her statuette.

To cap off the evening’s all-star lineup, The Row’s Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen accepted the Womenswear Designer of the Year prize, beating out Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, the Proenza Schouler duo, and Joseph Altuzarra. It fact, it was a good night for women designers, celebrity and otherwise, with Tabitha Simmons winning the Accessories Designer of the Year Award, and Rosie Assoulin and Mansur Gavriel’s Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel taking home the Swarovski prizes for womenswear and accessories, respectively. On the guys’ side of things, Swarovski winner Shayne Oliver of Hood by Air had almost as many letters stenciled on the back of his head—HBA—as he uttered words on stage. Tom Ford, who received the menswear award, and is a little more practiced at these things, remembered his 15 minutes at this venue last year. “I’m so glad to know that there is life after the Lifetime Achievement Award.”

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The Pre-Fall 2015 Trend Report

Pre-Fall is a season of consolidation, with such labels as Chloé, The Row, and Zero + Maria Cornejo doubling down on all sorts of ’70s tropes, from rock-star shearlings to tunic-and-trouser suits to baja shirts straight off the beach in Malibu. What it means for you: It’s time to invest in a flared skirt (floor grazing or cropped way above the ankle), and you might want to consider a long tube skirt as well. They looked directional over loose pants and pleated skirts at places like Rag & Bone and Proenza Schouler. Or you could go the other way entirely and opt for something thigh-high short. Tiny baby doll dresses à la J.W. Anderson and Calvin Klein Collection had a big moment, too.

The Drug Rug Deluex

The drug rug got a major upgrade this season, thanks to ponchos that were hipper than your average head shop find. Chloé‘s Clare Waight Keller distilled globe-trotting glamour with a fantastic tasseled number, but for those who prefer a poncho with a little more polish, look no further than Cédric Charlier.

 

  New Life For Leopard

Is it time to stow away the It girl faux-leopard coat? Just maybe. We were seeing spots in a whole new way at the Pre-Fall collections. Joseph Altuzarra whipped up a purple jacquard parka and matching pencil skirt, while Julie de Libran sent out a Parisian take on jungle print at Sonia Rykiel. Wild.

 

  Doll Parts

Would-be dolly birds, unite! Pre-Fall’s most darling indulgence came in the form of baby doll dresses. Whether printed (Valentino and J.W. Anderson’s floral numbers) or plain (Francisco Costa’s dreamy white knit), their thigh-grazing hemlines made certain that these frocks were anything but saccharine.

It’s The Fuzz

Designers cozied up to plush shearling pieces for Pre-Fall. Whether long and luxurious or shaggy and shorn, Mongolian lambskin took center stage in collections from Altuzarra to Burberry Prorsum.

 

 Night Time Is The Right Time

The best kind of evening look is an unexpected one. This season, that’s where Alexander Wang’s minimal elegance, Christopher Kane’s nouveau blooms, and Rachel Comey’s unfussy fringe all come in.