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Tailored blazers. Subtle cocktail dresses. The signature elongating day-to-evening pencil skirt. The look is sexy but powerful, and, in the past few years, as many stars — from Rihanna to Robin Wright on House of Cards — as New York socialites, including Wendi Deng, have gravitated to 32-year-old Joseph Altuzarra‘s clothes. THR checked in with the latest designer to jump on Hollywood’s red-carpet ride.
You were born in Paris and worked for Riccardo Tisci. Has that helped you in New York fashion?
The mix of my French and American upbringing is what’s given Altuzarra a unique voice. French style is tailoring, sophistication and sexiness. American style is pragmatism and ease. The mix of the two is what feels modern.
Was it your intent to cater to sophisticated, professional women?
There’s been a real shift in how women think about their appearance in the workplace. For years, the idea was that women erase their femininity and embrace a masculine uniform. But today, women feel that a body-conscious, even sexy dress can represent strength. We work with a grown-up idea of sexiness, not necessarily in an obvious way. With Robin for some of Claire Underwood’s looks, it was interesting to talk about new ideas in power dressing: powerful yet also sexy and feminine.
Nicole Kidman has become a real fan.
She’s mind-blowingly talented. Every time she wears Altuzarra, it’s a pinch-me moment. It happened naturally: I saw a picture of her in our parka, and we reached out to her stylist.
Emma Stone wore your fall 2015 cocktail dress to the Vanity Fair Oscar afterparty.
It was our first foray into Oscar territory; dressing Emma is a dream. It happened pretty fast — the dress was on the runway the week before the Oscars!
See more Oscars 2015: The Top 10 Best-Dressed
How did Michelle Obama come to wear your orange brocade coat on her recent trip to Japan?
We worked with her team a month before, for the second time. It was an incredible process; I felt so humbled and grateful she wore Altuzarra.
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Portia de Rossi
James Gordon Meek