Berluti have found a perfect fit with Haider Ackermann as their creative director. They need someone who can offer a veneer of luxuriousness for clients, but his bohemian aesthetic brings sufficient intrigue to keep us press interested. As new appointments go, it’s one of the best recent examples of a good match. He’s clearly enjoying the access a house like Berluti brings to high quality fabrications and experimentation, and the powers-that-be are clearly pleased with having a fresh voice to bring notoriety to their label.
As with Ackermann’s debut, the story here at his S/S 18 offering was the universality of his clothing. He’d cast a fair few female models, from the girls of today, like Mica Argañaraz, to the icons, such as Stella Tennant, to model his menswear wares and to hammer home that these are clothes that work for anyone. Anyone with a deep wallet that is. Luxury today is experience, and Berluti are now carving out a position as the house that bottles the luxury of time. Last season suggested a man on the move. This season spoke of a man reclining and relaxing. The first few looks saw loose, louche tailored trousers worn with slip-on flats. These worked better than those with the sharp polished boots as they suggested a dream of easy elegance that only the most lithe and nimble can pull of. The palette started almost entirely monochrome, building to include blush and putty tones. The given inspiration was the seminal photographer Erwin Blumenfeld, whose work should be admired far more than it is. This collection lacked the punch and irony so central to Blumenfeld’s work, but the muted palette - almost like colours faded by time - spoke of his influence.
Half way through the show Tennant emerged in a black and white look, followed closely by a male model, acting as a shadow, in an identical look. It was a moment for the Instagrammers on the front row, but it summed up what Ackermann does best. He twists convention, defies expectation and plays with norms, but all in a safe enough way for the classic Berluti man to feel included, rather than excluded.