>> Who wudda thunk you'd see this image pop up chez Style Bubble? Why, it's the image that has littered so many moodboards, Tumblrs and inspiration desktop folders of the past decade, so much so that I'll even know if I've seen a slightly different pose or stance of Mossie in this outfit. It seems to have reared its silver slipped head again in New York as many a show – Rag & Bone, Jason Wu, Helmut Lang (although 90s redux is a no-brainer for the latter) – have gone born slippy. The diaphanous liquid metal properties of this particular slip ensemble though paved the way for a more tricked-out outing at Altuzarra though.
It was a show that had echoes of why his S/S 13 show worked so well for me. Taking the utlitarian and making it look polished, complex and incredibly expensive. Then going for broke when it came to evening wear. Remember the miles and miles of embroidered, gem-encrusted, tassel-festooned silk scarves wrapped around into sumptuous evening dresses? The accoutrements may have been toned down for S/S 14 but the spangle is no less present. What seems like miles and miles of liquid metallic silk ooze their way around the body, first on deceptive dresses, where the top half is a nonchalent thin knit, vaguely resembling a cosy thermal and the bottom half is a thigh-high split skirt with fabric gathering in at the waist. Dare I say there's a nod to Sharon Stone's Gap skirt n' Vera Wang skirt Oscar combo there? God, I hope it is (I'm no Oscar outfit lexicon but that one does rank high up there just for that pure contrast). Then they culminate in "proper" gowns that recall another NYFW muse du jours, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.
The real talking point though in this pool of liquid metal is the volume applied specifically to the waist. The silk is deliberately gathered and bunched so that there's a metal swaddle of fabric concealing the pockets at the front. As already noted in the Style.com review, ladies who lunch, the sort that might be Altuzarra's customer may not want to errr… display just how much they've had for lunch. For the sheer decadence of it though, I happen to love the extra volume spilling about the waist. Why is it that we've become so trained in the eye to smooth down the bulges and create these rigorously flat stomachs in apparel? Altuzarra spoke of seeing the beauty in "imperfection" in his press notes and whilst I'd hardly call the women he showed to be slubby slobs, at the least they had a don't-care-air about them. High powered female CEOs with spendthrift tendancies may be Altuzarra's niche but I definitely applaud his own particular sort of whimsy.