There was a jet-setting sense of glamour to the collections of both Altuzarra and Rag & Bone as they displayed a beautiful array of travel-inspired elements: simple dresses, embroidery, masterly-tailored outerwear, pleated & tulip skirts, knitted fur sweaters (sleek & chunky), minimalist/maximalist… They were both too much, yet just right, as every aspect of the outfits could be deconstructed & every element of clothing able to be taken out and worn on its own – absolutely wearable.
Joseph Altuzarra added panoptic romanticism & exoticism to his first collection after his CFDA Fashion Fund win. Seeking to present “the wardrobe of a well-travelled woman”, he began with the idea of a woman with very french & straight base pieces, adding to them little elements of what she had picked up in Mongolia, Morocco and India – thereby creating a woman of a “Worldy Mystique” – confident and strong… yet with an approachable poise.
The dense knit dresses with gold coin embellishments were sensual, yet loud and confident; the military coats and outerwear displayed tailoring done to an expert degree of talent, the thigh-high leather boots and textural patterns were very rare – different, yet identifiable, flared pants, velvet jackets, fur pea-coats, contrasting sleeves, vermillion… I could go on…. Tightly edited and very well-styled… they were clothes real women would love (and love is an understatement!) to wear.
Having said all that, how could we forget Markus Wainwright and David Neville’s move away from the beachy sentiments of Rag & Bone’s spring/summer collection towards one with packed on layers of patterns and rich colouring for autumn/winter?! Having always had a type of “outsider” fashion, they have enabled themselves to gather more dispersed elements of design, fusing this with their ancestral sense of Englishness & fun to create the very looks which define them.
Markus Wainwright, after having visited India and upon seeing the beauty behind the contrasts of wealth & poverty, between the very rich textures and the extremely expensive, delicate and embroidered textiles and base cloths, decided to present a collection showcasing the impact of England on India and vice versa — creating a journey within which there was an element of urban sensibility…
Provocative & opulent with a colour palette of royal navy and deep violets with light patterns on grey hues, and of course pops of maroon (these shades of deep reds & burgundy which no NYFW catwalk went without!); beautifully understated Indian influences with jodhpurs and floral tapestries teamed with straight goat-hair gilets – keeping texture plays central – gave the audience something to lust after and again – womenswear which was wearable – in the chicest and trendiest of ways.
If you asked me to choose between these 2 brilliant collections I wouldn’t be able to — But that’s the beauty of fashion isn’t it? Why would you ever have to choose, when you could simply take parts of both collections, blend them into one outfit & have it all.