new york’s edgiest runway designer embraces pink gingham shirts.

by faran krentcil

You wouldn't think the New York designer Joseph Altuzarra would be particularly into J. Crew. This is, after all, the man who sent Becka Diamond to fashion week in a giant sleeper sweatshirt made entirely of fur, and then made giant army parkas a high-fashion staple. But thanks to his CFDA Fashion Fund win, Altuzarra has been given the resources (and some of the funding) available to J. Crew's megabrand, and to celebrate, he's releasing a collection of thirteen pieces with the label, starting tomorrow. The Swarthmore alum, 28, claims he was inspired by "Brigitte Bardot in Saint-Tropez and French preppy style.” But we can't help wondering if these cleanly chic uptown brunch staples weren't also influenced by Altuzarra's cousin, the model and Columbia student Lily Kwong who also serves as his occasional muse. If you like the stuff, head to J. Crew's website early tomorrow morning and you'll be able to buy it... until it completely sells out in about five seconds.