Joseph Altuzarra And The Dress Of The Season

The New York designer tells us why a touch of snakeskin is your spring essential

Chris Nicholls

Every season, a precious handful of looks encapsulate fashion’s new swing. Take Mary Katrantzou’s surrealist lampshade dresses in London, Prada’s quirky-baroque striped looks in Milan and Louis Vuitton’s ’70’s flashback frocks in Paris. In New York, capital city of designs New Guard, Joseph Altuzarra’s cutout snakeskin dresses took top style honors. When they slithered down the spring ’11 runway, it marked a clear shift from fall’s omnipresent leopard prints. This coming season, the exotic scaled pattern is a closet essential, says Altuzarra himself. “Python feels very exotic and sensual, it has timeless appeal and is always feminine and sexy no matter what it is paired with,” the design darling tells us. Taking his sound advice, we urge you to try the trend with a zip of neon or a cooly modernist white. And, in the name of research, we can confirm that several stellar pieces for Altuzarra’s latest collection just hit Holt Renfrew’s sales floor. Lunch time rendez-vous?