Berluti A/W 2018
Mood board: In a world that is louder than ever, the cerebral designer Haider Ackermann is a lone voice – his serene A/W 2018 collection explored the very essence of man, eschewing the sports-lux logo-mania taking over the shows. ‘I like the idea of a quiet man. Serene, cool, collected, yet standing on his own two feet,’ he said. There’ll be no statement puffer jackets or hybrid trainers here. Ackermann’s clothes for Berluti are the apex of exemplary luxury. They have a sensual, cool minimalism. A/W introduces more nylon jackets, handcrafted from a single piece of fabric and treated as if made from the most precious of skins. Rich, seamless suede outerwear is inspired by the house’s emblematic Alessandro shoe; sleek natural leather coats become invisible at the seams.
Best in show: The invitation to the show – a serious, thick wedge of pale pink card – foretold the staging: a velvet lined catwalk at the Grand Palais in the same erotic hue. In only three seasons, Ackermann has established a uniform with a refined, modest attitude. Light tailoring is without shoulder pads; a leather trench is lined in grey cashmere. A restrained black cashmere coat has ivory silk pinstripes on the inside and can be worn inside out. Sweaters in brushed Japanese cashmere are worn tucked in; hand-cut velvet suits are sharp. His clothes define a modern sensuality. His colour palette of deep olive, fresh sky blue, warm orange and purple is both bewildering and bewitching.
Finishing touches: As the world spins itself into a puritan phase, Ackermann deliciously served naysayers a leather and silver cigarette case to complement last season’s flask. A new shoe – the Alessandro One Cut – nods to the collection’s focus on seamless construction. The boot has a slightly elevated heel which gave the models a modern retro gait. Ankle boots in Venezia leather and crocodile are an evolution from S/S 2018’s cowboy boots; Ackermann has added a subtle decorative seam that catches the eye. His Berluti should be touched; it should be heard above the noise.