The Berluti SS2016 Featherweight Collection is inspired by the modernist architecture of the city of Chandigarh in northern India, designed by Le Corbusier in the early 1960s. The crisp delineation between the concrete of the city and the verdant parkland that surrounds it is reflected in the bright colours and sharp silhouettes of the clothes. Berluti’s ateliers have been working with the latest innovations in textile technology to create the most lightweight performance materials and fashion them into a modern summer wardrobe that is both hardwearing and as light as a feather.
Colours reference those favoured by Le Corbusier and extend the mineral palette established by Berluti in previous seasons: iolite violet, turquoise, zircon yellow, emerald green, rhodonite red, neptunite navy blue and onyx black; and meteorite, aluminium and calcium greys. All surfaces in the collection bar one have a dense, matt finish.
The silhouette features a narrow-fit jacket without any internal construction – no shoulder pads or linings – and trousers with a wide leg and full seat. The proportions are informal: a loose half-button shirt features throughout the collection in both cotton and leather, and even the suits are worn with trainers. Outerwear is boxy and oversized in both long and short lengths. Technical innovations include new shoulder constructions for Berluti, with both kimono and mezzo-kimono cuts on the sleeves, further emphasising the informal sensibility while allowing for free movement in the arm and creating a sharp outline.
New materials have been designed to be as lightweight, durable and waterproof as possible. These include a technical, ultra-light, rain-resistant silk/paper blend; rubberised paper-touch cotton, which has a crisp, light feel perfect for summer; a mohair/wool blend for suiting; the lightest kangaroo leather ever produced, a mere 3mm thick with a linen-like feel; and Berluti’s new powder-coated leather, a super-thin baby calf sealed with a waterproof membrane which is then treated to produce a completely matt, densely pigmented finish. A rubberised nubuck used for leather outerwear is the only shiny finish in the collection, chosen to provide a contrast to the matt surfaces.
All the fabrics are as close to weightless as technology will allow. For example, the jackets weigh as little as a shirt because they are made in light paper-touch blends and have had all internal construction stripped away. Knitwear is made from silk and wool yarn and printed with horizontal stripes. Further stripes are airbrushed on before an enzyme is applied to dissolve the pigment and leave a matt finish.
Berluti’s Playtime trainer returns in a triple colourway; customers can specify the colour of the patinas which will be applied by hand in the atelier. Other footwear includes the Alessio loafer with its trainer-like sole in white and a breathable, perforated leather upper lined with a waterproof membrane, and the Victor, a new slip-on loafer made from a single piece of leather with retro-injection details.
The upper of the new Victor shoe is made of one piece of leather just like the emblematic Alessandro lace-up court shoe. Its trompe l’oeil effect is achieved through retro-injections which create lines emphasizing its sharp design. Though it looks like an oxford shoes, the Victor is actually a slip on worn without any laces. This season, classic Berluti bags come in the new powder-coated leather in a series of densely pigmented colours to complete the total matt effect.
“The combination of ultra-technical materials, such as silk/paper blends and powder-coated leather, and their featherweight lightness with the durability and performance of the garments has enabled us to create a vibrantly coloured, sharp, contemporary and innovative Berluti wardrobe for SS2016.” Said Alessandro Sartori, Artistic Director, Berluti