AC9 RTW Spring 2023

If one’s idea of glamour is conventional beauty, Alfredo Cortese’s intention for spring was to challenge that perception.

He borrowed drama from high fashion to conjure a dark-tinged, by his own admission “almost dystopian,” look — and sexy, too.

Cue the dramatic strapless gowns with voluminous bottoms, rhinestone-covered micro skirts and tops, miniskirts with a bow applied at the back and crystal mesh midis.

They caught the audience’s attention without necessarily being the collection’s best pieces.

They were followed by lace and sheer numbers, Cortese’s signature and a more appropriate territory for him. He suggested bondage references in the use of lace passementerie caging midi silk skirts, tunics and oversize trenchcoats and used the same fabric for overtly sexy bras (were they nipple patches?) worn over bias-cut sheer skirts.

Boxy blazers worn with bare torsos over cargo pants, halterneck jersey frocks with cutouts at the hips and see-through flowing gowns hit the lineup’s highest notes.

No coy romanticism here, just melancholy. It looked like a Siouxsie Sioux feat. Björk song.

“The way we dress is primarily about self-representation, what’s tacky or elegant or sexy?” he wondered backstage. But his answer lacked a punchy edge.

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