Joseph Altuzarra emailed personal invitations to his show. In a normal season that would’ve required clicking send on 600 or so individual notes. But this was his 15th anniversary, and, as he said in his invite, he wanted to honor it with “those who have supported me throughout my career.” He brought together a group of about 100 at his Woolworth Building HQ for a salon-style presentation. His daughter sat on his mother’s lap, and there wasn’t a pay-for-play celebrity or influencer in the room.
“I worked on this collection in a different way,” Altuzarra said at a studio preview before the space was emptied to prepare for the show. “It wasn’t as much about stories and much more about pieces that I felt interested in developing.” After a season that was called out for some secondhand ideas, Altuzarra was due for a reset, and this collection did indeed feel renewed, with fresh ideas pulled from his own personal preoccupations.
Take look one, a sweeping mac with a storm flap back lifted directly from his own life. Altuzarra has started showjumping competitively out on Long Island, where he and his husband have a home; later on in the collection, a pair of silk twill sundresses featured abstract prints that looked equestrian in nature. Jodhpurs were in the mix too.
Amidst the pictures of horse girls on the moodboard were Tamara de Lempicka paintings that may have inspired a crystal and lace flapper-ish slip dress. Illustrations of clowns in Pierrot ruffs definitely influenced the frilled collars and cuffs on knits and blouses, which were often topped by more masculine pieces, like a peacoat or a toggle coat, or a neatly tailored blazer—shades of ’80s Ralph Lauren.
With the exception of the knit pants that made multiple appearances—full to just below the knees, then leggings-tight to the ankles, and worn with pointy ballet flats—variety was the rule here. “I wanted it to feel like walking into someone’s wardrobe that they’ve collected over a long period of time, where things feel like they say something about the person’s personality,” said Altuzarra.
You could see the room full of editors making mental shopping lists: a sequined aran sweater for this one, a bugle beaded tuxedo shirt with tails for that one, an embroidered harlequin lace blouse for another, special pieces grounded in the everyday.