Kris Van Assche's Debut - Berluti FW19
n April of last year, designer Kris Van Assche was appointed by LVMH as the new creative director of French menswear brand Berluti following his departure from Dior Homme. Ten months later, after an anticipated wait, the designer presented his first collection for the house in February. Over the years, Van Assche has developed a reputation for opening each of his Dior shows with a classic black suit. However, for Fall Winter 2019, being a new direction in his journey, he then decided to take a different route of inspiration.
On a visit to Berluti’s production factory in Ferrara, Italy the designer became inspired by one of the most unlikely objects; a table. A large square table where Berluti’s team sit and apply dyes and polish the patina of each shoe. Van Assche was drawn to the creamy deep whiteness of the marble table and the pink, blue, orange, green and red circles and stains left from years of applying different polishes. From this , him and his team were able to photograph the table in its raw form and transform it into prints on silks shirts , suits and coats that were incorporated in his collection.
Also, instead of his signature black suit, the designer opened up his show with a brown leather suit that was hand dyed to resemble Berluti’s luxury shoe patina.
“If my previous work always started with a black suit, I can definitely say that here it starts with the shoes, “ he explained during an interview.
Each piece thereafter were suits and coats sharply cut and with rich colours that resembled that of the shades of their original dyes. A few hand-cut tailored jackets and overcoats were given bright hues of pink and blue , a fiery red suit was paired with a fuchsia pink leather coat, and even a glossy kangaroo fur coat was sent down the runway with a chocolate leather hoodie and pants. So needless to say, the collection held no shortage of colour in menswear, and although a dominantly menswear brand , the designer also introduced a few menswear inspired womenswear pieces including jackets and coats, motorcross pants, and a royal blue knit dress .
The core of the collection — its shoes, played a big part as well, with variations of Berluti’s classic Alessandro shoe including an adaption with metal plating and also white sneakers that were given a touch of metal on the mouth.