For Spring/Summer 2016, Joseph Altuzarra returned to his Basque roots and found ample inspiration in the lush Spanish countryside. Basque society has long had an egalitarian approach toward the fairer sex, with matrilineal inheritance laws that placed importance on a woman’s position in the family, a fact that defied the region’s allegiance to the Catholic church. Altuzarra’s ability to empower women through clothes is not only the key to his success, but something literally bred in his DNA.
While fanciful and feminine, the earth-toned dresses, jumpsuits, and separates on his runway felt lived in and made for the kind of wardrobe that travels well. Regional representation was also found in the Spanish espadrille, which Altuzarra sent down the runway with every look. Luxe pieces like crocodile-leather skirts sported his signature slit front, while tab closures kept looks from going overboard in the skin-baring department. The collection ran the gamut from gorgeous day dresses tinged with elegant touches of embroidery and contrast trim to glossy outerwear and dayglo powersuits. His evening looks were a smashing line-up of monochrome dresses decorated with beautiful contrast mosaics that twinkled under the stage lights. Effortless, sophisticated, and sleek style reigned on the Altuzarra runway.
Effortless, sophisticated, and sleek style reigned on the Altuzarra runway.
As a womenswear designer, it makes logical sense that one would supply clothes for women. However, the category is so broad that most designers tend to narrow their focus down to a select swath of the well-toned and well-to-do. Price tags aren’t the only deterrent to stepping into next season’s hot ticket items — a myriad of other factors like silhouette, fit, and material are important as well. The reason we love Altuzarra is because of his incredible talent at creating wonderful clothes that a huge sector of women really want to wear, not just because the clothes are beautiful, but because it takes only one look to be convinced that we will feel beautiful wearing them. A tiny, unforgiving bandage dress, though? Not so much.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree