Yesterday’s Berluti Menswear Fall Winter 2021 performative show, presented virtually via the brand’s IG live and brand’s website, was kept short and sweet. Titled Living Apart Together, the collection by Kris Van Assche intended to reflect the “constraints of our time”. Mission accomplished, then, as it did so perfectly. As the camera gave quick glimpses of the looks and their details, the models walked briskly across a white boxed canvas space with distancing floor markings & red tapes, and within minutes ended in synchronised stances together. Simple.
But there was nothing simple about Kris Van Assche’s design approach for Berluti’s winter pieces. Remember the constraints we spoke of earlier? Consider them defied. Taking a page from Russian artist Lev Khesin’s book, with his boundless, silicone paint-layering techniques, a 2021 Berluti winter entails that same freedom. The collection relied on beautifully abstract blends of colours bleeding against each other, almost ombre looking. Take the silky, loose fitting shirts that look like a manifested landscape painting, with horizontal hues of purples, oranges and greens. Or the finely dyed mohair turtleneck and matching hat, that make threads of dark green, violets, lilacs and lavender shades look like cosmic matter, all together creating a picture of a night sky.
Perhaps, it may seem unconventional to have so much colour and experimentation during the coldest time of the year. We’re used to the black overcoats and brown boots. Also, not everyone has been introduced to some of Van Assche’s workwear-inspired fits. However, as unprecedented times call for unprecedented fashion, the designs work. No doubt these pieces are on point for late 2021, as so many of us are ready to let loose with our creative expression. Especially in our fashion.
What’s not to love about beautiful colours on traditionally elegant silhouettes? After all, art never dies on us. Plus, there’s no need to fret. Van Assche still gives us the expected and desired overcoats, double breasted suits, crisp pleat trousers (some tailored, some cuffed, others loose), good leather jackets & staple leather bags (large and small). The Berluti DNA is still there and expressed throughout the new season offerings.
Many of the looks were topped off with a youthful attitude: seamless and modern takes on 80’s aesthetics, such as Kangol-esque bucket hats. Not forgetting the platform sneakers and footwear, that take inspiration from the luxury and sturdiness of a good, formal, patina-coloured Berluti shoe.
Berluti FW21 is giving us blends of colour, blends of old & new shapes, blends of our today and most importantly our tomorrow: freedom and reunion.