Monday, 13 February 2012

Corto meets Altuzarra's mixed tailoring

'Ballad of the salt sea' first cover sketch by Hugo Pratt
© Florenzo Ivaldi/Arnoldo Mondadori Editori, 1974
My girlhood's best-loved character, the sailor-adventurer
Corto Maltese created by the greatest Italian comic book
author Hugo Pratt, came to inspire the gripping winter
2012-13 collection of French-American designer 
Joseph Altuzarra.

Born and raised in Paris, Altuzarra attended Swarthmore
College in Philadelphia where he completed a BA in Art
and Art History, started training in New York working 
for Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler before being
recruited by Riccardo Tisci to work for 
Givenchy in his hometown Paris.
Joseph moved back to NYC to launch his eponymous 
line markedly shaped by his eclectic experiences 
and the ineluctable heritage of French couture.

Fictitiously born in Valletta, on the island of Malta in 1887,
the handsome laconic seafarer embodied his author's
unprejudiced view of life being sympathetic toward people 
from all walks of life. Corto's worldly-wise wandering
provided the premise for the unique look of the collection.
”He was a sailor, his mom a gipsy and his dad was Venetian”
the designer declared (in truth Corto's father happened to
be a sailor from Cornwall) introducing his expert mixing
of army-navy tailored suits laced with lyrical eccentricity.

Perfectly proportioned fur pea jackets, velvet blazers
and toggle coats go along with pleated skirts or slim
cargo pants and ethno-inspired printed silks in a clever
cross-cultural parade gleaming with metallic 
charms, sashes and fringes with brilliant references 
to traditional Mongolian and Arabic dressing. 

As Pratt uniquely combined storytelling, historical research
and a breathtaking drawing style, Joseph Altuzarra skillfully
blends his military-inspired tailoring with an fierce ethnic look:
chunky handmade knits, tinning Moroccan coin necklaces
and rug designs are paired with knee-high black booties
in a jaw-dropping urban-ethnic attire. Bravo!

all carwalk images © by

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