Joseph Altuzarra on Spring 2011, Sexy Older Women, and Boobs


prince william
Photo: Amina Akhtar
Amanda Brooks and Joseph Altuzarra

Joseph Altuzarra joined Barneys's new fashion director Amanda Brooks at the Madison Ave. flagship on Thursday morning for some coffee talk. On the agenda? The designer's career, his inspiration (surprisingly not waifishly thin models), and boobs.

Brooks played interviewer while a rapt crowd of bloggers looked on. Altuzarra, who cut his teeth at houses like Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, and Proenza Schouler, has come into his own with his body-con silhouettes. But, as he noted, his Spring collection was more forgiving. Perhaps that had to do with his unofficial muses: Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, and Diane Lane. 

"I think there's always been this myth that the person you're dressing is this 25-year-old model, which we now know is not the truth," he said. "I was really interested in focusing on someone who was a little bit older and who had this professional life."

After watching recent films starring Keaton, Streep and Lane, he found their career renewals intriguing. "They were really becoming role models for a lot of women," he said.

The professional woman as muse is certainly an attractive concept—especially to those of us who work for a living. The designer noted that it's more interesting to make practical clothes as opposed to the garments worn solely to lunch. But then, what of his most accentuated feature for Spring: the conical breasts?

"The pointy cone boobs—that was definitely not functional," he laughed.


Victoria's secret wing designer now designing nasa gloves

Photo: Imaxtree

Looks from the Altuzarra Spring 2011 collection


In a refreshingly frank (and funny) discussion, Altuzarra touched upon the difficulties of finding new inspirations for collections.

"I do kind of have to seek it [inspiration] out because if I didn’t, I’d be watching Glee all day," he admitted. "So I mean, I’m not one of those people walking around thinking, Oh my God, I should do something about the French Revolution." His Spring collection was inspired by the very idea of researching references online.

And what about that other professional woman, the one who impacted Altuzarra's career by wearing his coats out and about before he was a fashion name?

"I've always been very influenced by Carine Roitfeld," he said. "And she's someone who's stayed very seductive in the way she dresses."

Asked what he'd like to see Roitfeld do with the store's windows in her new stint as Barneys's stylist, he replied, "[What] I would love to see her do in general, and with the windows, is bring her taste level and her point of view to everything that she does. I think she’s so unique in that way. I think there is a little irreverence about her as well, which I find very, very inspiring."

And in case you're wondering which other movies inspire him besides those starring grande dames: Twilight.

Now you know.

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