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Altuzarra: Avant-Garde Warrior Women

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Altuzarra Runway Finale. (Published Sunday, Sep 12, 2010)

    The ultimate insider's favorite -- the front row was a veritable who's who of stylish editors (Stefano Tonchi, Suzy Menkes, Hamish Bowles) -- Joseph Altuzarra is really one of the few designers showing in New York who takes an avant-garde, cerebral approach to a collection. This season, he drew from a litany of places.

    In keeping with the trend we've been seeing so much of on the runways this season, the collection began with white, as models with brightly colored paint smeared in their hair sported a series if futuristic-looking white separates -- all incredibly sharply tailored with stylized asymmetry (a cape-like piece of fabric hanging off the back of a jacket, a skirt with a rectangular piece lopped off the back).

    As the collection progressed, snakeskin was added to the mix, making for an '80s sci-fi effect in combination with curve-hugging white dresses and jackets. Then later, the collection faded to dark navy blue and black.

    Altuzarra has a knack for really doing something with clothes. The shapes he sent down the runway for spring were truly unique, and the tailoring on each is just breathtaking. That said, we weren't sure how we felt about certain elements, in particular a series of cone-shaped embellishments appearing on the chests of dresses and jackets. An homage to Madonna? A playful statement? Either way, it started to border on costume-y, which is dangerous territory for a talent like Altuzarra. Regardless, this proved to be one of the most original collections thus far this season -- even if the average gal might not necessarily be lining up to wear it.