Entertainment

Clothes for a Cause: Altuzarra at Lunch with Margaret & George

As the special guest at the annual Lunch with Margaret and George, Joseph Altuzarra wowed Toronto’s philanthropic community.

Joseph Altuzarra with models in his designs

Joseph Altuzarra with models in his designs / Photography by George Pimentel

Yesterday, a few of us lucky FLARE editors joined Lisa and George Corbo of the venerable Yorkville boutique George C, for their annual lunch benefiting the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. This year’s event was at the Art Gallery of Ontario—closed on a Monday, the Corbo’s had assembled a room with crystal chandeliers (generously donated by Emmanuelle Gattuso) hanging from the ceiling and dozens of tables crowded with Toronto’s philanthropic females. The draw? Joseph Altuzarra, the rising star of New York fashion (and recent recipient of a minority investment by corporate fashion powerhouse, Kering), was in the house.

Following a delicious (and healthful) meal of chicken and quinoa prepared by chef Annick Le Goaix, we all trooped to a “secret location” in the gallery to see Altuzarra’s fantastically sexy spring ’14 show, last seen on the runway at New York Fashion Week. The location turned out to be Frank Gehry’s Galleria Italia, the convex, blond wood-and-glass hall that fronts Dundas Street’s quaint Victorians. It was a dramatic setting for a fashion show, made all the more so when lined with ghost chairs for the spectators.

The show itself was a sight—along with their incredible beauty, Altuzarra’s clothes look impossibly easy to wear. Altuzarra found inspiration in a nostalgic view of sultry summers, as well as the intricate, sewn layers of Japanese boro fabrics, while the striped silks the opened the show looked reminiscent of Turkish bath textiles. The sex appeal of his thigh-high slits and deep and deeper V necklines is undeniable. I know I wasn’t the only woman in the audience lusting over is trompe l’oeil dresses and gilt skirts. The stunning Dauphine—Canada’s model of the moment—closed the show in a liquid silver dress, leaving the hall buzzing with energy.

George and Lisa Corbo with Joseph Altuzarra / George Pimentel

George and Lisa Corbo with Joseph Altuzarra / George Pimentel

“There’s something so studied about the way he puts things together,” said Jeanne Beker after the show. “Yet, it comes off with an absolute effortlessness. His vision is very poetic. He’s one of the most exciting designers on the American stage right now.”

“I thought it was spectacular,” said Paola Fullerton, who serves as a loyal ambassador to Canadian designers in her role as founder of The ShOws. “It was edgy wearable. You know you would feel super cool wearing it.” We’re all in agreement there.

Jeanne Beker / George Pimentel

Jeanne Beker at Lunch with Margaret and George

FLARE editors Emily Ramshaw and Tiyana Grulovic / George Pimentel

FLARE editors Emily Ramshaw and Tiyana Grulovic

Paula Fullerton / George Pimentel

Paula Fullerton at Lunch with Margaret and George

Jodie Chan, Julia Perry and Joseph Altuzarra / George Pimentel

Jodie Chan, Julia Perry and Joseph Altuzarra

Joseph Altuzarra at Lunch with Margaret and George

Joseph Altuzarra and Sarah Refferty from Suits

FLARE at Lunch with Margaret and George

Lina Policaro and Kelly Rosen at Lunch with Margaret and George

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Hal Eisen, Sylvia Mantella and Andrew Bottecchia

FLARE at Lunch with Margaret and George

Sylvia Mantella at Lunch with Margaret and George

Our contest winner, Pina Trimarchi and guest at Lunch with Margaret and George

Our lucky contest winner Pina Trimarchi, and her guest, at Lunch with Margaret and George