Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Transformer - Joseph Altuzarra

One of the highlights of my whirlwind visit to New York was meeting designer Joseph Altuzarra at the castings for his Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Altuzarra may be labelled the current "cool kid" of American fashion, however scratch beneath the surface and there lies an insightful designer who is seeking to define what it means to be an "Altuzarra Woman." Speaking with style.com Altuzarra peels back the layers, "The Altuzarra woman wants to seduce men, but she's not inferior to men. She is doing it in a way that is very poised and that is very confident." This aesthetic is perhaps best reflected in the painstaking casting process for Altuzarra's show with casting director Kannon Rajah detailing to Inoubliable Model Army, "This season we're looking for  a tough, androgynous yet beautiful girl, there has to be a process of transformation."

Joseph Altuzarra
CFDA Journal 2011
Photographer - Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin
Source - models.com

During the castings for Altuzarra, I was in the enviable position of observing this very transformation taking full effect. A clear case in point was American newcomer Athena Wilson who at first glance came across as a quirky tomboyish-type replete with a page boy hairdo. In front of the casting panel though, Wilson did a complete 360, morphing into a self-assured woman as she demonstrated her walk with an intensity in her eyes that was both unnerving and seducing. Likewise, Canadian sixteen year old Kayley Chabot came across initially all girly and saccharine, then transformed effortlessly into a woman on a mission as she took her turn stalking before Altuzarra and Rajah. And then there's former police woman turned Elite model Tamara Weijenberg whose androgynous sex appeal was palpable from the very second she set foot in the casting room. This magical process of transformation sums up the mood for Altuzarra the brand, with the designer intimating to style.com "I think my interest in fashion was always a very selfish one from the beginning. I was really nerdy and unpopular in high school, and I think I saw clothing as a way to transform myself." It is this belief and uncompromising vision that has seen Altuzarra transform into one of fashion's brightest stars.

Athena Wilson
Altuzarra - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Kayley Chabot
Altuzarra - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Tamara Weijenberg
Altuzarra - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Julia Frauche
Altuzarra - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Tilda Lindstam
Altuzarra - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Yulia Serzhantova
Altuzarra - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Maria Bradley
Altuzarra - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Ava Smith
Altuzarra - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Fei Fei Sun
Altuzarra - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

Joan Smalls
Altuzarra - S/S 2013
Photographer - Yannis Vlamos
Source - style.com

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