SHE’S an expensive creature the Altuzarra woman. Just look at her in that rich tobacco suede shirtdress. Even when she adopts a touch of seersucker pastel gingham, it’s done so in a lean pencil skirt suit and comes over as more pristine than picnic, because well, everything is this woman’s wardrobe is pristine: from the series of lattice leather vests and pencil skirts (meticulously bonded and grommeted together by hand and worn with nothing underneath but a monied suntan) to those silky shirt dresses with slits up to there (few could execute such slashes without proceedings turning unsavoury).
Altuzarra is expert at dressing his woman. Those shirt dresses are a favourite of his, so too those wrap-around skirts with ribbon streams and ties, and disrupted blanket stripes on slubbed linen car coats. “Rosemary’s Baby and Barry Lyndon were the starting points for this collection,” reveals the designer. “I became interested in the idea of a sinister and undone prettiness and romance, ill-fated and doomed.”
Certainly there was a romance to his series of wafting eveningwear; wisp-thin and sail-like in volume in a manipulated ikat print, and elsewhere, slithers of black silk slip dresses were trimmed in tiny dangling seed pearls; Altuzarra said he wanted to evoke ideas in 17th century jewellery and adornment. A triumph