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altuzarra takes on the sexy 70s for autumn/winter 15

The young New York designer shares the influences behind his sophisticated and sparkling autumn collection.

by Rory Satran
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15 February 2015, 10:30am

There's more to Gloria Vanderbilt's style than the iconic 70s jeans that built her empire. The elegant heiress (still kicking at 90, for those that haven't Googled her yet) inspired Joseph Altuzarra's rather majestic autumn/winter 15 collection. Those high-necked lace collars, on white blouses and beaded dresses? Pure Gloria, from her debutante days. Also looking at 18th century dandies, Joseph concocted a sophisticated, evocative collection.

Said the young designer after the show, "Gloria Vanderbilt and looking at dandies was the beginning. Those informed this exploration of dressing up, and taking pleasure in dressing."

The much-loved Joseph Altuzarra signatures were certainly there: fabulously furry Jenna Lyons outerwear, pencil skirts, evening gowns, diaphanous blouses. But there was an adjustment of fit and scale befitting of a 70s muse. A higher cut on the hip, a longer hem on a jacket. Joseph is a child of the nineties; there's no way that Tom Ford's sexy reimagining of this era for Gucci did not enter into his consciousness.

"This was the first season that I felt I was really challenging the silhouette," said Joseph. "It felt really liberating but also exciting to go beyond that silhouette that's so identifiably Altuzarra - that straight slit skirt, the button-up shirt, and the really sharply tailored jacket. And move that into something different but that still felt like the brand."

It wouldn't be an Altuzarra show without a showstopping finale, and the procession of swinging black, white, and red beaded gowns certainly qualified. The heavy, irregular beading on the dresses drew from the pattern of a Tibetan carpet. "I almost want it to look so far from a Tibetan carpet but keep the graphic elements of it," said the designer.

It's fitting that Joseph, known for his friendship with modern-day graces like Vanessa Traina, would find inspiration in Truman Capote's swans of yesteryear. His favourite Capote book? "Breakfast at Tiffanys." Naturally.

Catch up with the rest of our autumn/winter 15 coverage here.