Berluti

The Instant Fashion Crave Machine

There has been a great deal of talk about men’s couture in the past couple of seasons; the desire to create truly unique and custom-made clothes for a certain sort of discerning gent, in an era when men have never been better informed about fashion than today. After witnessing Berluti’s très raffiné show staged in a garden on Boulevard St. Michel on Friday night there can be little doubt that in terms of fabric innovation, technical flourish and sartorial detail the leader in this important movement is Alessandro Sartori.

Monochrome looks need magnificent materials
Monochrome looks need magnificent materials

A Milanese who has made Paris his home, Sartori injects couture authority and cool into everything from the remarkable origami inspired baby calf leather jackets whose seams and edges were hand painted – he has a dozen people working on the process – to the truly great new high-top dyed leather sneakers. Where other designers link up with active sports labels like Puma or Nike, Sartori cuts out a  whole new category. Effectively, Sartori gets the prototypes for this sportswear couture collection made at Arny’s, the former St. Germain tailor that Berluti bought and incorporated last year.

 “My goal is to elevate sportswear to the level of couture,” beamed Sartori, attired in a khaki green safari shirt.

Sporty couture mixed with classical style notes
Sporty couture mixed with classical style notes

His color palette was perfectly judged – from the earthy sand of the Roland Garros courts to the faded yellows of an Indian haveli. One had to love the raw Indian silk, hand woven on ancient looms, used in a divinely well cut gents double breasted coats and smart rural retreat jackets, all made the better by a tweedy colorization that suggested remote moors and hardy heather.

After that well, it was ladles asunset when six cooking partnerships – all attired in Berluti leather aprons – competed to create the best Italian pasta. Rarely in fashion history has so much been gobbled down by so many and so quickly.

This season, Sartori is the master of subtle sophistication
This season, Sartori is the master of subtle sophistication

Our vote went to the Ugo Tognazzi spaghetti by Jean Baptiste Mondino; though we have to confess that we were unable to taste the much-praised champagne risotto by Berluti communications boss Isabella Capece and hubbie Marcello Galeota . “And to think we made 10 kilos,” cooed la Capece, as guests imbibed red mojitos, and Jefferson Hack and Alex de Betak worked themselves into competing lathers.

Sartori hit the sweet spot of a fashion hit collection with directional clothes and the best of conservative tailoring; we predict, this is men’s fashion’s future.

Conservative but with a contemporary touch
Conservative but with a contemporary touch