Berluti SS2015 Sport Couture collection continues its quest to bring genuine modernity to menswear by combining the ease, lightness and relaxed functionality of sportswear with the tailoring techniques available in its ateliers. The result is a form of sports couture that combines traditional craft with new technology to create a nostalgia-free classicism.
The origami techniques are not only in evident in these details but in the very building of the pieces, which have been assembled like geometric collages. The Origami Coat stands as a prime example of the way in which this new approach to design elevates a familiar piece of clothing to a new level of architectural refinement.
This season Berluti has looked to the art of origami to create new expressions of lightness and luxury in the shape of innovative pattern-cutting and crafting techniques. These have been used on such handworked details as pockets, pleats collars and lapels – entirely original constructions using folds that avoid the need for cutting, sewing and interlining.
The same natural enzyme treatment has been applied to the interior surface of fabrics to reinforce them and give them a crisp drape while keeping their surface soft to the touch. This process does away with the need for the heavy canvas interlinings that are conventionally used for reinforcing fabrics, giving the garments strength without adding weight. Traditional hand-executed leather-crafting techniques have been used to shape and mould leather pieces in this collection, and finished with distinctive topstitching on shoes, lapel details and bag handles.
Definitive materials this season include glove-touch leather, a unique material that combines the lightness and strength of paper with the tactile qualities of the softest napa and nubuck. It is its incredible thinness that makes it possible to build the collection using these origami techniques. The crisp-edged properties of this super-fine leather ensure that the resulting shapes boast a graphic purity. Other fabrics this season are similarly thin, fresh and light: Solaro, in various blends of silk and linen, silk, linen and cashmere, and silk, linen and cotton; lightweight silk mohair; and a summer Shetland silk that uses fine Indian silk mixed with cotton to keep it light, handwoven on manual looms. Knitwear uses four- and six-ply cotton cashmere. There are also two new fabrics: a paper-touch waxed linen; and a silk and linen poplin treated with a ceramic glaze to give it a leather-like finish and make it hardwearing and waterproof.
Colours for summer blend the warm and masculine with fresh and unexpected Berluti tones: plaster white, wet sand, jute brown and pond and forest green with mimosa yellow, coral orange and warm pink. The main silhouette for the collection features a jacket with a natural shoulder, a generously cut trouser with a slightly wider leg, and Berluti’s new Playtime sneaker: a bootmaker sports shoe made using a single piece of leather patinated according to the customer’s choice and treated to a traditional buffed finish. There is also a new version of Berluti’s emblematic lace-up court shoe, the Alessandro, whose laces have been replaced with a buckled leather strap.
Luggage includes the new Origami Bag which showcases both this season’s origami construction techniques and the softness and strength of the glove-touch leather. Realised also in a buff colour, on first glance the result resembles a paper carrier bag but has all the robust practicality of a leather holdall. “I wanted to bring together the most luxurious technical materials from the forefront of fabric research with the most exclusive skills that hand-worked tailoring has to offer in order to create a new generation of sports couture garments’ Says Alessandro Sartori, Artistic Director.