Berluti has chosen a different path for its first return to the Paris Fashion Week calendar since 2021. The brand has operated without a chief designer – and plans to continue to do so – since the departure of Kris Van Assche. Instead, we enjoyed his first presentation since the fun and poignant Brexit moment of June 2016 (between Alessandro Sartori and Haider Ackermann). Going back even further, it echoed the charming early seasons of the shoe brand’s expansion into ready-to-wear, starting in 2012, when Alessandro Sartori and Antoine Arnault were still shaping their vision for the house.
This time, it is Harold Israel, VP, Marketing and Image of Berluti, who leads the way in the showroom of the house rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré. At the heart of Berluti’s customer repositioning is the move away from fast fashion in favor of enduring style. The result is a kind of Not anymore normcore: conventionally realistic menswear made with almost unreal levels of craftsmanship, in the finest materials. The collection pictured here spanned three outings running from July through the start of Northern Hemisphere winter, and was shot in the same semi-decorated style as last season, to create a sense of continuity.
Almost every ready-to-wear piece was a bright and beautiful staple, an essential you’d want to live in for years to come. Look 20’s wonderfully streamlined varsity jacket in a rich grape tone and Look 18’s teal overshirt were among my picks: you could see a large population of (very creditworthy) cultured menswear collectors putting up their platinum cards for almost everything. Unpretentious garments such as Look 3’s desperately soft burnt orange knit sweater featured tiny elevating details – in this case, a Venezia leather hanger strap tucked behind the back neckline. It was interesting to see the house relying once again on its long-established Scritto calligraphic prints, both on leather goods and on jersey pieces with leather patches – that popular part of the house code. was often overlooked by design headliners. This season it has also been developed into a new densely scrolled monogram based on a woodcarving from Berluti’s Rue Marbeuf site; this has been modeled on cotton canvas into very attractive day bags and rolling luggage with leather hub wheels.
The shoes, the base, featured a new soft-top sheepskin-lined version of the Ultima boot (now without the annoying and unnecessary top strap it once featured) that was perfect for tucking your thin cashmere track pants into. draped. There was a cool new old-school track sneaker and new iterations of the house’s woven Shadow sneaker. Freed from the pomp and circumstance of a catwalk, and without having to conform to any design narrative beyond telling the house’s rich history, Berluti’s low-key design team produces menswear of a exceptional beauty.