Altuzarra SS2017
Joseph Altuzarra Spring/Summer 2017. Photo credit: Yannis Vlamos

We’re half-way through New York Fashion Week and if there’s one trend that is worth noting it is the dominance of the bra. We’ve seen them styled as tops, as integral parts of tops, as a vital splash of color beneath tops, and in the case of Victoria Beckham this morning they were the inspiration for the whole collection.

Joseph Altuzarra doesn’t go quite as far as Mrs. Beckham, but he, too, utilizes the bra as a critical piece to his collection. In the first look down the runway, the bra matches the skirt as it sits quietly beneath a blue blazer with appliquè lemons. A few looks later, it is a ruffled bra that serves as the barely-there top accompanying a pencil skirt. Drop down a few more looks and it’s the contrast of ruffled bra straps beneath a striped off-the-shoulder dress that captures your attention. The bras. They’re everywhere.

That being said, don’t think for a moment that this Altuzarra collection is risqué. Quite to the contrary, this is a collection that probably resonates stronger with Midwestern women than any I’ve seen so far this season. Inspired by the 1990 David Lynch movie Wild At Heart, looks are romantic, with plenty of small print designs and multiple tiers of ruffles. Ribbed knit sweaters integrate into a variety of looks and are the kind that, from a practical perspective, are seasonless. His use of python here and there gives it a hint of the exotic, but it is the light chiffon dresses that really capture the heart and most likely the wallet.

Organza factors prominently in the eveningwear covered with embroidered sequin fruit, from cherries to pineapple and lemon and blueberries. At times, the sequins might  seem a bit much. We’re not always that flashy here in the Midwest and a little understatement might be considered a good thing. Those elements  only encompass a handful of looks, though. The simple practicality and beauty of the majority of the collection dominate enough to make this a most valuable set of women’s clothing.

Women in the Midwest are sometimes challenged to find clothes that are contemporary and trendy in matching New York styling while still upholding the practicality and sensibility they were taught growing up here. This Altuzarra collection is the answer to that challenge. Whether in New York or Terra Haute, the clothes work: refreshing, romantic, and stylish without offending anyone’s sense of propriety.

Even if your bra is showing.

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