“Luxury can only lose the battle” of digital presentations, judge Kris Van Assche, artistic director of Berluti. After having shunned the virtual Parisian Fashion week, he presented his collection Thursday in Shanghai in front of real guests.
The Belgian designer of the French house sent to China his men’s collection composed of 30 silhouettes, in bright colors and with a relaxed look, made in collaboration with the Russian painter based in Berlin Lev Khesin.
Not being able to travel and supervise the fall of each piece himself, he gave up on the parade. But some 500 guests were able to touch and try on the clothes displayed on the hangers after watching the film.
Why Shanghai? Because it is “a promising market” and “the only place where you can present clothes to a living audience”.
The digitization massively imposed on fashion in times of Covid “is a dangerous game for luxury,” Kris Van Assche, ex-stylist of Dior homme, told AFP during a preview in Paris. “I bow to it, but I think that luxury can only lose the battle.”
– “In video, we can cheat” –
“If you can’t touch, if you can’t see up close, if you can’t see the quality, the difference with the mainstream market disappears. In video you can cheat a lot, you can hide a lot, and you can beautify, ”he said.
For the stylist, it is impossible to organize a parade without being physically there.
“I didn’t want to give someone else the responsibility of choosing the models, the clothing fits. I have to watch the fittings myself. When a sleeve is too short, when a shoulder falls badly, I see it. “, he explains.
If the health crisis has revolutionized the way of presenting fashion, it influences the color palette and the relaxed silhouettes, “with more than ever hand finishes, hand stitches, hand patinas”.
“The more we are confronted with digital technology, the more I want to emphasize the human aspect behind the products”.
The collaboration with Lev Khesin, of which ten works are represented in a more or less literal way on Berluti’s pieces, is part of this approach.
Each painting, made of superimposed layers of paints, resins and silicones, “is unique. The artist got his hands dirty while making them”.
– Comfort –
This contemporary art technique is “a real nod to Berluti craftsmanship”, bootmaker since 1895, famous for its patinas.
“With confinement, people say to themselves that we are all going to want a cashmere sweater because we are on our couch all day.”
“This is not the solution. I still like that it remains creative, that we take full advantage of it, that there are colors, design, but perhaps with more flexibility” .
A shirt-jacket thus takes up the codes of the costume like the chest pocket, but with a completely deconstructed shoulder. Another jacket, in double-sided cashmere, is very flexible, like mesh.
A bomber jacket has a tailored collar and worn over sportier pants: “It creates something that could be interpreted as a suit-uniform and at the same time it is much more relaxed”. In the color range – purple, orange and blue – the pants are mismatched with the jacket.
“Instead of looking for comfort in food, we find it in clothes,” concludes Kris Van Assche.
© 2021 AFP
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