Parisian Perfection at Joseph Altuzarra

The designer's Fall 2018 collection channeled the French women who ruled the 7th arrondissement in the '80s

To view the full Altuzarra Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection, click here.

Joseph Altuzarra’s second PFW show was held in a sentimental setting—a brasserie on Boulevard du Montparnasse that, while growing up in Paris’ 7th arrondissement, he passed each day on the way to school. “I lived two minutes away,” recalled the designer, who printed the restaurant’s floor mosaics on his invitations. “I came here as a kid and when I found out they’d never done a show here, I really thought it would be the perfect place.” Inspired by his friends, the women he works with, and the women he saw while growing up in Paris in the ’80s (including his mother), Altuzarra’s Fall collection was one of his most refined yet, brimming with sumptuous velvet dresses in black and blood red or violet, chunky Fisherman’s knits embellished with silver metal rings, corduroy pants in jewel tones, suede and leather dresses with inset metal grommets, and louche blouses, which were often worn tucked in with only the very top button closed. “The 7th arrondissement was very bourgeois,” said Altuzarra, “so I was taking some of those codes [that I grew up with] and trying to break them up a little bit and subvert them.” This being Altuzarra, there was obviously a sexiness, not only in those unbuttoned blouses, but in the sleekness of his belted silhouettes, the suggestive drape of his printed silks, and the way his smocked finale gowns, with bohemian skirts and ruffled necklines, clung to the body. However, the real star of this show was the rich, tailored suiting. Shown in camel or grey, these pant, skirt, and three-piece suits were tailored to perfection and accented with button details and painterly pinstripes. Models wore their jackets with their collars up and sleeves pushed above the elbow, suggesting they were ready to get down to business, but might have a little fun while they’re at it. Shoulder-padded ’80s power suits these were not, but they still exuded strength—just a modern iteration. Oh, and the designer’s new “Kiss” bag, essentially three little pouches assembled in a triangle, was totally adorable—the perfect accessory for a night out in the City of Lights.

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