Altuzarra offers an elevated take on Burning Man style

Just when you thought Burning Man was over, Joseph Altuzarra went ahead and brought dessert-ready fashion to the New York Fashion Week runways—tastefully, of course. For spring/summer 2023, the designer for Don Juan and Desert Solitairean ode to nature in southeastern Utah written by Edward Abbey, neatly wrapped in cloth and left at each guest’s seat in the Starrett-Lehigh Building to take and (hopefully) read.

According to the exhibition notes, “the collection charts the path to mystery, blurring the lines between man and nature, the physical and the spiritual.” Altuzarra achieves this via practical and polished pieces like the parka that opened and closed the show, and sporty layered looks paired with sneakers, modeled by a diverse cast including Paloma Elsesser and styled by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson. (Suddenly, I’m in desperate need of a denim maxi skirt.)

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Like a trip through the desert, the look continued steadily, the only drama being a model whose foot accidentally slipped out of her sandal. Psychedelic prints, metallic lamé and shibori tie-dye appeared on dresses, culminating in several parkas made using the centuries-old Japanese technique and embellished with coins. “The desert, as a catalyst for ideas of possibility, freedom and myth, is the conduit for a collection that celebrates both pragmatism and the power of imagination,” writes Altuzarra.

altuzarra runway september 2022 new york fashion week shows

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Flipping through Abbey’s book when I got home, I came across a quote earmarked with another piece of fabric: “I wouldn’t live here. So dry and desolate. Nice for pictures, but my god I’m glad I don’t have to live here.” The brutally honest words ring true, especially if you happen to be hitching a ride in an RV to Black Rock City. At least this way you can be the best dressed in the desert.

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