A sense of augmented reality sets the tone for the Berluti collection for Spring-Summer 2020. In his continual observance of the artisanal heritage of the maison, artistic director Kris Van Assche shines an imaginative light on the features of its legacy. Presented in front of the orangery of the Jardin du Luxembourg – a manicured interpretation of real nature – the collection expands on the adventurous wardrobe proposed in the previous season and amplifies its characteristics. As the new codes of Berluti become part of its future genetics, a seasonal consistency settles in. While in continuous evolution, the maison remains loyal to the values of its origins in the cultivation of an enduring luxury wardrobe for the multi-faceted man.
Magnifying established signatures, colours intensify. Informed by the stained surfaces of the old marble tables on which the Berluti craftsmen in the Ferrara manifattura hand-dye the archetypical patina shoe, Kris Van Assche fluoresces and acidifies his palette. Enhanced hues elevate classic tones: fluo orange and terracotta, bright yellow and mustard, cobalt blue and navy, and intense violet and royal purple meet in exuberant saturation. The sentiment is echoed in technique: the marble and patina stain motif of silk shirts is first woven into a jacquard fabric, then printed with the marble pattern, and finally overprinted with the multi-coloured stains.
As the new direction of Berluti is heightened, so is tradition. The patina suit – transmuted from the classic Alessandro shoe – is embossed with the maison’s heritage scritto motif. A largely indecipherable 19th century manuscript sacred to the Berluti archive, its handwritten letters find new life on leather tailoring evoking the idea of archive pieces that never existed. The scritto reappears in the jacquards of suits and shirts, features in the form of shadow writing on pin- striped tailoring, as a print on sportswear, on bags, and throughout the details of linings and zips. A nail-head surface decoration is introduced in homage to the shoemaking core of Berluti, in the all-over embellishment of a leather suit and a sweatshirt, and on the sole of shoes.
The presence of the scritto and nail-heads signifies Kris Van Assche’s ongoing fusion of modernity with the classic values of the maison. The symbiosis reinforces a contemporary masculinity – diverse, independent and adventurous – expressed in increasingly fluid tailoring. The silhouette expands seductively in trousers and shoulders, triggering a sense of freedom characterised by an unrestrained attitude to dress codes. Jackets appear in sleeveless form, Bermuda shorts are introduced, and the motocross trousers of the new Berluti wardrobe convert into a harmonising jacket and multicolour leather boot. An idea of sportswear is further explored in takes on perforation, in woven leather tops and outerwear in laser cut deerskin.
Enforcing a contemporary masculinity, women’s looks appear hyper-feminine. Tailoring plumed in buoyant ostrich feathers is worn over cage-knit mohair tops constructed from strings with interweaving embroidery.
In shoes, the Alessandro Edge heralds the new Berluti era, intricately combining a formal sole with a sneaker sole. This diamond-sculpted Alessandro shoe and Stellar sneaker already established at the maison appear in evolved manifestations, while a three-buckle monk shoe makes its debut. In bags, the Un Jour Gulliver is revived in patina with painted orange edges next to the Trois Nuits trio-pocketed bag adorned with motorcycle chains, patina stain bag charms, and Berluti’s signature shoe horn.