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Berluti, between haute sportswear and K-pop

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today Jan 17, 2020
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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.

Berluti - Fall-Winter2020 - Menswear - Paris - © PixelFormula


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.


Berluti - Fall-Winter2020 - Menswear - Paris - © PixelFormula


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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