Talk of the Tents

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Altuzarra takes to the street

A look from the Altuzarra Fall 2013 collection,

A look from the Altuzarra Fall 2013 collection, which debut at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. (Feb. 9, 2013) (Credit: Style.com)

The young designer Joseph Altuzarra looked to the street for inspiration this season.  As he explained in his program notes, the zigzag of skyline, the glint of pavement after a rain, the flashes of color from passing cars all found expression in this edgy, ultra-feminine collection.

Industrial zippers swirled around dresses and skirts like the tracks on a subway map, trimming panels of sheer fabric and forming slits to reveal even more leg.  Snaps, too, popped up like manhole covers, bedazzling a sycamore green jersey skirt with snap slit (worn with a bright white leather turtleneck).  Legs, mind you, are covered in matching leggings,

The designer has made a name for himself emphasizing the traditional feminine silhouette, and here he pushes the envelope, exaggerating the hourglass curves with a bold shoulder and padded hips.  Yep, you read that right. 

The bolder shoulder is the easier game for consumers, no doubt, as in the forest green poly-leather dress with green mink cap sleeves. 

But what can one say of the series of poly-leather dresses—some with fox, with mink, with crepe—with padding in the hips?  It’s an interesting experiment, actually—we accept the exaggerated line of padded shoulders, so why not padded hips?  The answer, of course, is that most women aren’t interested in bulking up in that particular region—and the dresses themselves looked rather awkward, as if the models were storing nuts for the winter. As you might imagine—not the easiest look to pull off.