Berluti unveils Living Together Apart, its winter 2021 collection
Berluti unveiled its latest collection on Thursday, an unlikely blend of natty tailoring and painterly abstraction that nonetheless managed to gel very succinctly.
The video, unveiled on social media at lunchtime in Paris, was actually the follow-up to a teaser video Berluti released back in mid-January, the opening show-video of that month’s Paris menswear season.
However, this April fashion flick was more like a performance art installation that was staged digitally in Paris and Shanghai, allowing a more complete display. The two videos did also have complimentary titles: the first, Showing Together Apart; the latter, Living Together Apart.
Once again, the big idea was working with Russian painter Lev Khesin, exploiting his brilliantly chromatic silicone paintings on a great series of tops – cotton party shirts, mohair sweaters, Maoist jackets and dandy blazers. The Berlin-based Russian contemporary artist’s ideas also popped up in raw blanket coats and playful felt cloche hats.
“In times of limitation, human connection reinvents itself. In moments like these, we are Living Apart Together,” opined the house’s artistic director Kris Van Assche, who again worked with video director Antoine Asseraf and creative consultant Yoann Lemoine, better known as Woodkid.
In a smart visual pun, the set was based on floor signage, referencing social distancing – graphics all too familiar to all too many. Though throughout the cast had a poshly rebellious air, as if all attending the opening of a very happening artist in a downtown gallery.
Van Assche remains a highly accomplished tailor, seen in his unstructured “neo-suiting,” where he contrasted classical dress codes with punchier street looks. Like the great steel gray puffer with a classy wool suit, finished with nipped-at-the-ankle pants, or the saddle-stitched cabans and parkas worn with strict jackets.
Rather remarkably, Berluti still remains the world’s only menswear brand offering both high-end bespoke tailoring and accessories. The former best seen in a hooded jacket; a jumper in hand-woven leather interpreting Khesin's oeuvre and the latter best appreciated in the patina leather sneakers, square-toed brogues and Khesin's densly colored leather totes.
In a word, this collection looked contemporary, cool and kicky. Not bad going for a brand that began back in 1895, and is today owned by the world’s biggest luxury group – Paris-based LVMH.
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