Berluti S/S 2016

Chandigarh, Corbusier and Very Cool

Fashion’s sisterly creative discipline, architecture, was the wellspring for the latest collection from the house of Berluti, where men’s wear savviest fashion intellectual, Alessandro Sartori, took his inspiration from France’s most influential 20th century architect, Le Corbusier.

We’ve been saying it for weeks, ever since enjoying a captivating two-hours touring of the Le Corbusier Mesures de l’homme show in the Pompidou Center, surely the finest example of the curatorial art seen so far this year – a truly important exhibition.

Concrete grey and master tailoring Berluti
Concrete grey and master tailoring

Sartori honed in on a very specific period in Corbu’s career, when he designed the avant garde Indian city of Chandigarh, and specifically the unique color palette that the architect of gray concrete and primary pigments with which the architect painted the new provincial capital.

The result was a colorful show, of faded Pill Box reds, dried out yellow and light lime, the same hues that appear in the truly fantastic Punjab and Haryana High Court designed by Corbu.

Kangaroo leather treated to be light as paper Berluti
Kangaroo leather treated to be light as paper

Staged with summery charm in the garden of the redone Picasso Museum, the show also introduced Sartori’s latest tailoring trick – a great new double stitched suit collar, placed on truly spruce suits. Add in almost floating perforated kangaroo leather parkas – in Corbusier turquoise – and a couple of very much on-trend poetic Breton sailors tops. Quite why we were greeted by a score of models attired in just underwear, socks and shoes perched on deckchairs, was somewhat baffling. Not a couture composition, quite frankly. But overall this was a smooth statement of men’s wear couture.

Kangaroo leather treated to be light as paper Berluti
Kangaroo leather treated to be light as paper

The museum runway also witnessed some thoroughly smart new sneakers with multi-padded iconic briefcases, thick-trimmed like Corbu’s famous chunky spectacles. For next spring they come with rubberized finish that makes the leather feel practically like silk, and is completely water repellant.

“The clothes are meant to be faded, and crispy,” smiled Sartori, pointing out how many materials contained real paper, used in mixes with mohair, linen and silk. “It’s resistant and crispy!” laughed the designer.