Berluti, between haute sportswear and K-pop
Pandemonium outside the Opéra de Paris this morning, as K-pop star Sehun from EXO caused a mass stampede on the steps of the famed building as he exited the latest show by Berluti. A show and collection that underlined the rather radical change of direction of Berluti in the three seasons since Kris Van Assche has assumed creative command.
The opening look in the Friday lunchtime show said it all. A sleek bright blue double-breasted suit worthy of a Yakuza villain from a Kurosawa thriller and red roll-neck sweater anchored however by a pair of funky, chunky multi-colored sneakers. Quite away from the original durable gentleman ethos of Berluti, though utterly plausible all the same.
Van Asscheʼs second passage reeked rich Berluti, a pencil thin double-breasted gray check suit worn underneath a Memphis Belle flight jacket done in the houseʼs signature burnished patina leather - worn on a dashing black model who could have passed for Marvin Gaye’s grandson.
Otherwise, this was the bravest color statement so far on any European menswear runway - town coats in bright, emerald-green houndstooth, or more sensationally in Clongowes Wood imperial purple. A bitter lemon pony skin duster over a play lemon Prince of Wales suit worn on a female model and Bella Hadid in a matinee crooner sapphire blue suit. To her evident pleasure, she earned an audible loving groan from the photographers’ pit.
With Isabella Adjani emoting the Serge Gainsbourg classic tune Bleu Marine remixed on a great soundtrack the designer went into overdrive with intarsia fur coats and streaked graffiti print blousons, before riffing on a great series of speckled and paint-splattered trenches and parkas. Taking his bow at the top of the Palais Garnier staircase to considerable applause.
˝The splashes are not just printed, there is hand splashing too. On every look you shall find some handcraft. That is the point of this collection. You know, I hear a lot of talk that sportswear and street wear is over, but I feel that it is just a question of doing the right sportswear and the right street wear. Yes, Berluti is about craft and high-end luxury. But coexisting with high-end sneakers and sportswear,˝ said the designer, before posing with EXO singer Sehun.
Minutes later, Sehun left the opera house amid high security, yet he was still engulfed by hundreds of screaming fans – luxury meeting street once again.
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