WORDS Kara Douglas
Berluti’s AW17 show opened with an understated camel coat and black jean combination slipping down the runway. Little did we know this unostentatious preface was a teasingly vanilla predecessor to Haider Ackermann’s exuberant debut collection with the brand. Strong tailoring was the nucleus of Belruti’s AW17 show, presenting us with sharp collars, popped to exude an air of flirtatious arrogance. Pristinely cropped, structured trousers were layered under oversized outerwear and models carried cigarettes and guitar cases, drawing a Rock ’n’ Roll meets artful dodger attitude to the surface of the nonchalantly relaxed-silhouetted designs.
Soft mohair coats, sleek suede three piece suits, polished crocodile skin boots and smooth crushed velvets supplied the audience with a visually pleasing textural feast of stimulating fabrics. Ackermann manipulated the perceptions of the material’s depths within certain pieces, layering tartans over leather vests and embellishing pink tuxedo jackets with raised dotted patterning to distort the tactile dimensions of the designs.
Ackermann also paid recognition to his precursor Sartori by incorporating contrasting, reverse-collars and an injection of rich, vividly saturated shades into the shows colour palette. Raspberries, violets and crimsons pumped the collection with an alluring and tantalising confidence, complimentary of the fluid outlines depicted in the suede trenches and draped silk scarves. The collection was alive and pulsing with seductive undertones, a sentiment that seems to have been sadly absent from the majority of this seasons menswear shows. Berluti incorporated this new-found sexy self-assurance into it’s latest structurally tailored, yet relaxed, AW17 collection to produce a valiant statement celebrating the refreshing momentum Ackermann has brought to the beloved brand.