Altuzarra -New York- Spring-Summer 2013 RTW

Sally Potter’s magical 1992 movie adaptation of the Virginia Woolf classic Orlando, starring Tilda Swinton in the title role as the ageless Elizabethan courtier who changes sex and romps across the world and through the centuries, led Joseph Altuzarra on a design odyssey to explore masculine and feminine sartorial codes and marry them in intriguing and uncliched ways.

For his imaginative and inventive show, Altuzarra took a man’s old-fashioned canvas work-wear jacket, for instance (with the traditional identity information tag on a breast pocket now providing the season and date of the collection), and suavely recut it to feminize it with a peplum suggesting a Tudor doublet. An underarm opening meant that the arm could be slotted through and the sleeves hung loose—a modern take of those seen in stately Elizabethan portraits that managed to remain resolutely un-costumey.

These jackets might be layered over a railroad stripe cotton shirt coruscating with crystal-drop embroidery and a skirt seemingly improvised from an exotic fringed scarf (unearthed by Orlando in the souks of Constantinople, perhaps?).

Those scarves reappeared draped as the collars on chic smoking jackets and cocktail dresses, suggesting the insouciant gesture of a Gatsby-era man protecting himself against the nighttime chill. This simple effect became ever more elaborate as Altuzarra wrapped and draped up a frenzy of those jewel-fringed fabrics to create the illusion of a houri readying herself to dance the dance of the seven veils. The palette, too, suggested the Middle East in the pistachio greens and the piercing blues of a desert sky at night or of a Tuareg warrior’s robes—crowning glories of a show that deftly married fantasy with reality.

via: vogue
via: vogue
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