“Ladies and gentlemen: welcome to Berluti’s boot camp. Please join us for a jump rope championship,” a voice announced through the loudspeakers, as guest started to arrive at the brand’s “poolside party” set in a Parisian rose garden.
There also were table tennis, hook-a-duck, weight lifting, a skateboard slalom and a soccer training session. Models (sun)bathed at a (fake) pool, where a sign read “Lifeguards on duty: No flirting.” Fries and burgers vanished from food trucks faster than the free alcohol — or that one could say “medium” or “rare” — while Donna Summers’ “Hot Stuff” pumped from the loudspeakers.
All that was missing was a six-pack contest, which would have been a tough discipline viewing the athletic cast — and a new designer. The brand clearly thought all the “fun” could compensate for the absence of one following the departure of Alessandro Sartori earlier this year for Ermenigildo Zegna. As a result, Berluti’s spring collection was a design team effort, riffing off the brand’s signatures Sartori helped establish: the traveler blouson, featuring an inside back pocket, this time rendered in butter-soft lambskin; the jersey-knit polo; the denim field jacket; knitted blazers so thin they could pass for shirts, and a series of hybrids from the accessories department, such as a new skateboard trainer called Matteo. The style was neatly cut from one piece of the house’s signature Venezia leather on a vulcanized rubber sole.