Jun 252019

Vogue – June 21st, 2019


Gigi Hadid is shaping up as a versatile impact substitute transplanted from the womenswear runways to this season’s menswear. After a warm-up at Versace, she closed Off-White and then this afternoon’s Berluti, where there were plenty of women’s looks on show for an audience that included Ricky Martin and un des fréres Jonas. Berluti is supposed to be LVMH’s solely all-menswear marque, but Kris Van Assche is not down with the same-sex, boarding school vibe. He said: “This is a man’s brand, there is no doubt, but it is also nice to play with seduction…I told Piergiorgio [Del Moro], ‘Bring me the most beautiful girls in the world, because the world needs beauty!’”

Even without Del Moro’s hotties in their ostrich-hazed suiting and painterly printed silk shirting, there was beauty here, plus a nice logic behind it, in the most interesting new fabrication of the collection. This was a precise studding of what resembled small nailheads, applied to an oversized bomber and backpack and then a suit. It was inspired by Van Assche’s observation that while at work in Berluti’s Ferrara factory, the shoemakers often hold nails between their lips while attaching an upper to a sole. Said Van Assche: “It’s just like when people in the atelier put the pins in their mouth…and I was like, this [Ferrara] is really my atelier now. This know-how is usually under the surface…but I wanted to put it on the outside and use it as an embellishment because it is such an inside part of the house.”

Van Assche again mixed tailoring with moto-inspired pieces to evoke the complementary interplay of heritage values and fashion-forwardness he is working to achieve. This was also exemplified in the orange-accent-soled Alessandro shoes and the orange piping on this season’s bag offer. The color of the suiting, some of which included armless jackets and overcoats, or went Bermuda-formal, was a filtered-up, acidified, accentuated interpretation of the palette of dyes used at Berluti to give its footwear that famous rich patina. The house’s scritto motif (the reproduction of a calligraphically expressive 19th-century manuscript transferred to leather)—once hidden away from the Berluti show-sphere but long a popular category among customers for shoes and small leather goods—was transferred to some of that suiting and other coats and suits tailored in leather. One rare-ish all-black look placed a long perforated topcoat against a studded croc briefcase to emanate cashed-up John Wick menace.

Frédéric Sanchez’s breezy soundtrack blended Anne Clark’s Elegy for a Lost Summer with breathy dialogue from Alphaville to build a beguiling sonic parure at this sometimes beautiful but always Berluti-ful show.

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