Berluti unveils first looks – and new logo – by Kris Van Assche
The house of Berluti has unveiled the first looks designed by its new creative director Kris Van Assche, and the Belgian designer has given the venerable Paris brand a new twist – and a fresh logo.
The new branding adds a bolder, sportier and more industrial mood, reading from top to bottom: "1895 Berluti Paris." Previously, in a far finer typography, it was: "Berluti Paris Bottier depuis 1895," referring to the house’s origins as a high-end bootmaker.
A sportier mood, coherent with Van Assche’s oeuvre at Dior Homme, his previous position, where he was creative director for 11 years. Kris had telegraphed the logo in a debut ad campaign in June, before then turning up in a midnight blue sweatshirt bearing the branding at fellow Belgian Dries Van Noten’s womenswear show in Paris last month.
Van Assche, who joined Berluti in April, was not present at Monday’s presentation, which featured his pre-collection Spring/Summer 2019. Van Assche will make his full debut for Berluti in the next Paris menswear season in January 2019. In a release, the house called the looks a “prologue… establishing the very essentials of a contemporary men’s wardrobe structures, a blueprint for things to come.”
However, thousands of tourists could witness the new logo, seeing as it was attached to the Prouvé pavilions at the entrance to the Tuileries on Place de la Concorde, Paris' largest square.
Developed as school houses by design legend Jean Prouvé in the 1950s, the structures, made of a prefabricated kit of pine boards, aluminum trim and red wrought iron girders, were first built as a primary school in Clermont Ferrand, in central France. As a result, scores of Chinese tourists peered into the show-space, catching a sneak preview of the new mood at Berluti.
Van Assche focused on Scritto, a hand-written 18th century script often used on leather bags at Berluti, creating navy sturdy bomber jackets and silk shirts in the material, or trimming white satin tuxedos in the pattern. He also played with Berluti’s signature patina, which is inspired by its famous footwear, supposedly best polished in champagne, rubbed on by Venetian linen.
But where his predecessors Alessandro Sartori and Haider Ackermann concentrated on classic hues, Van Assche morphed from neon reds to electric blues. Kris cut fine, two-button wool jackets and a superb couture-worthy double face coat with a stricter silhouette, finishing some items outside contrast stitching. Though absent was the much-celebrated hidden suede backed lapels which Sartori had made his Berluti signifier.
Also notable were bulky chunky sneakers, and the Andy loafer – named after Warhol – which morphed into a brothel creeper with a new thicker sole. White piped black leather biker pants; and black leather weekend bags with patina rawhide skulls. A far funkier far cry from his two forerunners.
Eds note: The lookbook was photographed at the Berluti factory in Ferrara, Italy in July 2018 by Alessio Borsoni.
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