In just seven years, Joseph Altuzarra has built a brand that many longer-running fashion houses would envy. The label already has a few well-known signatures: a high-slit skirt, most prominently, as well as Romanian peasant blouses and tailored suiting whose curved seams conjure up the name "Altuzarra" as easily as a label might.
Not content to rest on his laurels, Altuzarra last year began working with an artistic director — Thomas Lenthal, co-founder of magazines Numéro, Paradis and System — on a "whole branding effort," seen last season in buttons emblazoned with the letter "A" and on his first line of leather bags: saddle and hobo-shaped with thick rope straps, leather tassels and rectangular gold hardware. For resort, which Altuzarra presented in his studio on Monday morning, there were more bags in similar shapes — including, for the first time, a clutch — rendered in solid neutrals as well as bright leathers woven to mimic the ikat pieces in the collection. Altuzarra and team also expended a great deal of effort developing a woven leather pattern that looks like a diagonal zig-zag, but is in fact the shape of the letters A-L-T-U-Z-A-R-R-A layered on top of one another, which appeared on the pockets and above the waist of a pin-striped blazer and all over a knee-length collarless coat decorated with bright chevron stripes on the pockets.
And because Altuzarra knows how to brand a collection as well as a label, this one had a handful of identifiers all its own: the aforementioned chevron stripes, inspired my the work of "minimalist artists;" pinstripes, arranged to narrow the figure; frayed edges, running along the seams of blazers and full-length trousers; pleated skirts, done vertically and diagonally (the latter "for flatter texture and movement"), and stiletto sandals feathered in scarlet and gray ("for fun"). For Altuzarra's body-confident boardroom types, there is plenty new to choose from.