Joseph Altuzarra Spring 2013 | Runway

Altuzarra Spring 2013

Joseph Altuzarra Spring 2013 | Runway

Expanding on the blending of cultures he explored in last season's winning Corto Maltese-inspired romp, the designer found inspiration this time around in a traveler of another sort: the century-hopping, continent-crossing, and gender-bending protagonist of the 1992 film Orlando. And, just as that film spanned eras and melded masculine with feminine to stunning visual effect, so did Altuzarra.

But it wasn't just the designer's innovative period mixing that made this collection such a knockout. It's that Altuzarra knows his away around some mean tailoring, and that's where the story really gets good. Jackets — many of which referenced classic workwear with utilitarian zippers, engineering stripes, and visible topstitching — were so well-constructed they veered close to couture. And those blazers that could be worn like capes, thanks to the thoughtful addition of openings under the sleeves? You could practically hear the editors' mental cheers.

That attention to detail was evident in the evening looks too. But instead of the sharp tailoring offered for day, here it was all about careful, structured draping. Dresses in embroidered silks were wrapped artfully so that they resembled sarongs and scarves, and many dripped exotically with golden tassels and fringe. The effect, to put it simply, was breathtaking.