Altuzarra’s Fall Winter 2023 Collection Establishes A Dialogue Between The Abstract and The Figurative

Wrapping up a two-year journey through layered myth and culture, Joseph Altuzarra encourages people to explore and expand on everyday life’s beauty, meaning, and mystery.

Amid the stain-glass dome of the Celeste Bartos Forum at the New York Public Library lies a collection whose only wishes are to cast the audience with various juxtapositions crafted for contemplation: supernatural vs. human, magical vs. real. Decamping traditional methods of fashion debuts, Altuzarra’s Fall Winter 2023 Collection guides us on an odyssey through a mythological landscape. Given that nature is both a means for divination and a force of its own, the collection progresses with the natural world overtaking the human, reclaiming the body for itself, prompting the final chapter in a four-part series that zeroes in on ritual and myth.

With a gentle nod to Charlotte Higgins’ Greek Myths: A New Retelling – where myths are narrated through the point of view of the female protagonists – the cach print in the collection tells a story of its own while illustrating a broader evolution from abstract to figurative. The debut began with bold amorphous artworks evocative of Rorschach tests and created with real folded inkblots. Soft, Shibori landscapes then come into focus, handcrafted with the Japanese tie-dying technique that has become the brand’s signature. Finally, the collection closes with vegetal and botanical prints inspired by scavenged flowers and leaves used for symbolic divination. The prints are carefully hand painted and meticulously engineered to mirror and even replace the body’s anatomy.

Altuzarra’s attention to the female form further shines through careful manipulations in material, achieved through twisting, knotting, and gathering. Eveningwear, a continued focus of the designer, is unexpectedly cut from supple leather and soft, draped jersey that wraps the body from head to toe. Minimal and monolithic column dresses and floor-grazing fishtail skirts convey the sensuality and case that Altuzarra is known for with quiet drama. Draping and hoods, whose colors and moods also inform an carthy, jewel-toned color palette, evoke the dreamy world of Alma Tadema’s paintings.

Accessories add to the textured and crafted nature of the collection. The new Athena bag and minaudiere share an intricate woven leather hardware handle, while the raffia Watermill’ Bag is reinterpreted in an artisanal dip-dye technique akin to Shibori. The nineties and Carly-Aughts-inspired ‘Parka’ Bag, first introduced last season, is reimagined in jewel-toned satin. Altuzarra partnered with Mila Textiles to create intricately embroidered balaclavas, especially for the show, in patterns and techniques that echo the collection’s prints.

Watch the full show below:

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