Altuzarra x Target Review: Viewer Discretion Advised
Over the years Target has done quite a few buzz-worthy collaborations with designers, each being equally as anticipated as the last. From Proenza Schouler and Jean Paul Gaultier to Zac Posen and Alexander McQueen, what fashionably-inclined individual wouldn't make a mad dash to their local Target to browse the exclusive collections on the day of their launch? Living in a world where the pairing of "fast fashion" pieces and designer pieces is actually advocated and encouraged, attaining pieces from these collaborations is essentially a way of finding a balance between the best of both worlds.
Even with my chaotic schedule, I found no need to set a reminder on my phone for the launch of the Altuzarra/Target collaboration. The date September 14th had been permanently engrained in my mind from the moment that I read it. Ever since Joseph Altuzarra launched in New York in 2008 he has been making waves in the fashion realm. Relatively "fresh off the block", his designs have women across the globe swooning for his refreshing design aesthetics. Altuzarra has even managed to secure a coveted spot on the Forbes 30 under 30 list while also snagging a few awards via CFDA. No big deal you say? Well to say the least, he's a modern up-and-coming design icon who is beyond applaud-worthy... If he hasn't been on your radar, he should be now.
With all of that being said, I have to say that I was quite disappointed in a multitude of ways... It was analogous to having an Hermès Kelly bag on your wish list, being willing to settle for a more moderately priced option such as Prada's Saffiano and then ending up with a Walmart-fall-apart clutch that was on sale because frankly, no one wanted to buy it. However, I was able to find a few select pieces that I was quite fond of. So without further adieu, here is the final review.
Striped Crepe de Chine Mini Shirt Dress
When I viewed this garment online prior to the launch, I thought it was a piece that was well-worthy of purchase. With a price point of $39.99, it seemed like a timeless piece that would also prove to be quite versatile. With concealed buttons down the front, it's the perfect palette for a beautiful statement necklace because there wouldn't be a "clash of details". Unfortunately, I found the fabric to be too thin and sheer for my personal taste... and while not necessarily a reflection of the collection's intended presentation, all of the pieces displayed on the racks were extremely wrinkled. I don't buy linen pants that already have ridiculous amounts of wrinkles in them, why would I buy a shirt dress that looks like it was stuffed into a toddler's pocket? Maybe other people carry portable steamers in their handbags, but I don't.
Satin Orchid Print Oxford Shirt
I'm going to let it be known that I have a weakness for Oxford shirts with contrasting collars and cuffs. It's not a coincidence that this was quite possibly my favorite piece from the collection. The graphic orchid print wasn't too detailed or flamboyant, despite it's drastic contrast with the deep midnight blue. The bishop sleeve allows one to go for not only a business savvy, but also a casually chic, approach to an ensemble. At $34.99, it's an absolute steal. On a depressing side note, it wasn't available in my size in-store... But the glorious thing about these collaborations (and the fact that it's 2014) is that everything is also available via target.com.
**Items are also available via net-a-porter.com, but this particular piece isn't offered on their site.
Python Short Sleeve Shirt
I've always preferred to save the best aspects of a review for last, so I'll get the negative Nancy thoughts out of the way. The fabric was ridiculously cheap and seemed reminiscent of what may have been used for a stereotypical Halloween costume that would most likely cause you to break out in a rash. As with any animal print, if it isn't done correctly- it looks inexpensive, dated and retro in all of the wrong ways... But then again, it's a measly $17.99. Should I have expected a fabric of a superior quality? Probably not. On a more positive note, I do love the color palette with the caramel undertones. I also love the concept of having a bold python print tee that can be easily used when layering because it's light, fitted and without sleeves.
Jersey Sweater with Crane Embroidery
I believe in ending all things on a good note, so obviously I had to end with this perfect fall staple piece. A simple black jersey sweater with impeccable embroidery of golden and might I add "heavenly" cranes. It comes as no surprise that I gravitate towards combinations of black and gold... I'm a creature of habit and I know what I like- what can I say? In all seriousness, I loved the weight of the sweater because it seemed durable and well-made as opposed to many of the other pieces in the collection. The embroidery was impeccable and without a single flaw- a difficult standard to meet when you consider that it's hanging on a plastic hanger with a price point of a mere $49.99 and it's not in a boutique or upscale department store. The only size available was an XL and it just so happened that I excitedly convinced a fellow crazed-Altazurra-shopper to purchase it because it would be only slightly oversized on her! Good styling karma. Love meeting other "Target/designer collaboration" followers.
Given the fact that this is a Altuzarra for Target capsule collection, I realize that I can't be extremely judgmental in terms of quality control. Granted, there were plenty of pieces that surpassed my expectations but unfortunately the less than stellar pieces outweighed those that were actually worthy of a sunrise wakeup call. As with any collection, we don't necessarily have to love every single piece that it encompasses... It just so happens that I only fell in love with two out of a near-fifty.
Despite my disappointment with the capsule collection, I will remain a faithful Altuzarra admirer.
A vow to the arts, till death do us part.
xx Dressed to Death xx
Full looks from the collection below (all images via Target's online lookbook).