Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear
February 14, 2018
Esteban Cortazar launched his line in New York in the early 2000s, and after years of showing in Paris, decided to come back to the Big Apple for Fall 2018. It was a welcomed return, as Cortazar’s vibrant collection—“a celebration of South America,” as he put it—injected some much-needed optimism into the NYFW fold. “It’s really a tapestry of experiences,” he explained of the lineup, which opened with a cozy, patchwork blanket of sorts that the model wore wrapped around her body, and closed with a sumptuous, royal blue velvet coat, fluid striped pants, and a leather and velvet bralette. There were plenty of playful, vivacious details here, like mirrored embellishments, tufts of colorful mohair that seemingly grew out of his fabrics, and multi-hued beading. But Cortazar is a master of construction, and his shapes this season were what really impressed. A standout silhouette was employed for two maxi-dresses—one in a yellow and blue intarsia, one simply in black. The shoulders were smooth, sculptural, and exaggerated, while the dresses hugged the body, making his models look like strong, feminine statues. The effect was striking. Elsewhere, he incorporated soft draping and lots of layers (capes and shawls were a key statement this season), worked with oversized shapes (there was a sensuality to an extra-roomy blue blouse), and played with transparency and cutouts to add his signature sex appeal. Not only do Cortazar’s clothes tell a story, but they’re pretty gorgeous—expertly made and crafted with a woman’s body in mind. New York has had trouble balancing skilled design with great storytelling this season—often, we’re given one or the other—but Cortazar managed to wrap it all up in one joyful collection.