Berluti Fall 2023 Menswear

Berluti Fall 2023 Menswear
Berluti Fall 2023 Menswear

Berluti chose a different lane for its first return to the Paris Fashion Week schedule since 2021. The brand has been operating without a chief designer—and plans to continue to do so—ever since Kris Van Assche departed. So instead we enjoyed its first presentation since June 2016’s fun and poignant Brexit moment (between Alessandro Sartori and Haider Ackermann). Going even further back this echoed the charming first few seasons of the shoe brand’s expansion into ready-to-wear, from 2012 onwards, when Alessandro Sartori and Antoine Arnault were still shaping their vision for the house.

This time though it was Harold Israel, Berluti’s VP, Marketing and Image, leading the way through the house’s Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré showroom. Central to Berluti’s clientele-friendly repositioning is its move away from transient fashion in favor of long-term style. The result is a kind of non plus ultra normcore: conventionally realistic menswear pieces made with almost unreal levels of savoir faire, in the finest materials. The collection pictured here spanned three releases running from July through to the onset of winter in the Northern hemisphere, and was shot in the same semi-backdropped style as last season, to create a sense of continuity.

Near-every individual piece of ready-to-wear was a luminously gorgeous staple, an essential you’d want to live in for years. Look 20’s wonderfully uncluttered varsity jacket in a rich grapey tone and Look 18’s teal overshirt were amongst my picks: you could see a broad population of (highly solvent) cultured menswear collectors putting their platinum cards down for pretty much all of it. Unpretentious garments such as look 3’s hopelessly soft burnt orange knit sweater featured tiny elevating details—in this case a Venezia leather hang strap tucked behind the neckline at the back. It was interesting to see the house again lean into its long-established calligraphic Scritto engravings, both on leather goods and in leather-patched jersey pieces—this popular part of the house code was often overlooked by past design headliners. This season it was also developed into a new dense-curlicue monogram based on a wood carving at Berluti’s Rue Marbeuf site; this was patterned on cotton canvas in highly attractive day bags and rolling luggage with leather-hubbed wheels.

Shoes, the foundation, included a new, soft-topped shearling-lined version of the Ultima boot (now without the annoyingly unuseful top-strap it once featured) that was perfect for tucking your finely draped cashmere track pants into. There was a cool new old-school track sneaker, and newer fabrications of the house’s woven Shadow sneaker. Freed from the pomp and circumstance of a show, and without having to conform to a design narrative beyond telling the house’s own rich story, Berluti’s discreet design team is producing some outstandingly attractive menswear.

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