“Back in the Saddle (Shoes) Again”

With the recent announcement that Thom Browne will be showing his womenswear in Paris (where he just presented his Spring/Summer 2018 menswear collection), and two American design houses, Proenza Schouler and Rodarte, showing on the first day of Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week for fall/winter 2017/2018, I could not help but think that one by one, all the truly great talent (the key players on the New York Fashion Week schedule) will eventually want to head east, to the City of Light. It had me wondering who will be next.

While I hope for our sake Joseph Altuzarra doesn’t abandon New York for Paris, his name popped into my mind. After all, the 34 year old French born award winning designer’s ready to wear has an undeniable couture sensibility owing to his adept way with draping, tailoring and technical construction. And he did hone his craft in Paris. Prior to starting his New York based eponymous luxury line in 2008, he apprenticed with pattern-maker Nicolas Caito, the former head of the Rochas atelier, and had been first assistant to Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy.

Joseph Altuzarra Resort 2018

His most recent collection, resort 2018, is a study in wonderful contrasts. He effectively mixes Wall Street banker’s stripes with elements associated with Brittany, France (stripes, floral motifs, lace, fringe). The result is refreshingly charming and very very chic.

Joseph Altuzarra Resort 2018

Joseph accessorized his tautly belted impeccably tailored jackets, high waisted pleated trousers, trench coats, scarf dresses, and lean knitwear with only two styles of footwear: flat lace up espadrilles and saddle shoes.

Joseph Altuzarra Resort 2018

While you might associate saddle shoes with 1950’s teenage bobby soxers and poodle skirts, Joseph’s chic navy and white versions (there’s a slip on mule and a more traditional classic version), might just change your perception of them. In fact, he seems to be on a mission to “Make saddle shoes chic again!”

Of course, you won’t’ be able to get your hands on these for several months, but there are some versions available right now, including one with a three inch stacked heel, another printed in leopard, and one that is jazzed up and embellished with silver studs.

Funtasama saddle shoes

Funtasama classic two tone saddle shoes, $37.95 More info/buy

Bass Eloise heeled saddle shoes

Bass Eloise saddle shoes feature a 3 inch stacked heel, $39.99 More info/buy

G.H. Bass  Dora Saddle shoe

G.H. Bass Dora saddle shoes, $100 More info/buy

Muffy’s swing saddle shoes

Muffy’s Swing Saddle shoes, available in white with black, white with brown, and white with red, $115. More info/buy

Ellie lace up saddle shoes

Ellie lace up saddle shoes on a one inch heel, $35.95 More info/buy

Bass leopard printed saddle  shoes

Bass leopard printed saddle shoes, $28 More info/buy

Miu Miu saddle shoes

Miu Miu two-tone brushed calf leather saddle shoes with studded embellishments, $790. More info/buy

Saddle shoes and poodle skirts are a no no!

Warning: Do NOT follow the advice of those who would encourage you to wear these shoes with your poodle skirts. No, no no! If you don’t want to look like a 13 year old version of yourself, or in Halloween costume, follow Joseph Altuzarra’s lead and counterintuitively pair them with something incredibly chic and classic.

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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