A railroad worker’s pragmatism ran through Joseph Altuzarra’s spring collection. The designer focused on utilitarian ideas like workman’s stripes, crisp pinstripe shirting, denim jackets, and lettered patches (a perfect space to debut the new Altuzarra logo). Practical wardrobe options are always a highlight of the New York collections, and Altuzarra proved his place in the city’s commercial scene with ingenious vents cut into blazers. The idea has circulated in Japanese design for decades, most recently seen at Junya Watanabe’s spring 2012 collection.
Even though form and function were the thesis of the first half of the show, passementerie trims and couture silks dominated the back half. A blazer look with a black tassel scarf wrapped at the waist paired with a print trouser was a dynamic option for evening, particularly for bolder dressers willing to forgo cocktail length for evening. Oh, but there were dresses, and just as fall’s gypsy styles captivated the eye, spring’s bejeweled and embroidered evening looks were nothing short of spectacular, in the most literal sense of the word. Wrapping at the waist and neck, flapping gold fringe, they were a thundering declaration: “This is what I can do.”