Connectivity becomes an art form in the face of separation. For the beginning of 2021, Berluti adapts to the challenges of our moment in time in a long-distance collaboration with the ceramic artist Brian Rochefort for its first creative collaboration on ready-to-wear. Recognising the values of a new era, creative Director Kris Van Assche embraces a desire for communication and concord in a collection of clothing created in partnership with the American sculptor. True to its conception – a digital effort between the designer’s home in Paris and Brian Rochefort’s studio in Los Angeles – the behind-the-scenes of the collaboration was previewed in a video between the two collaborators, screened online as part of Digital Paris Fashion Week on 9 July 2020. The film can be accessed on YouTube.com/Berluti.
The garments and accessories – to be fully unveiled and launched in stores in January 2021 – expand on the new codes established for Berluti under Kris Van Assche. A passionate ceramics collector, the creative Director’s vision is continually informed by the textures and colours related to ceramic art. This, in turn, draws natural parallels to the patina methods practised by Berluti’s own artisans in Italy. In Brian Rochefort oeuvre – an experimental and progressive force in the ceramic arena – Kris Van Assche identified a common thread with the sartorial dialogue between tradition and change embodied by Berluti. Inspired by volcanoes and exotic plants, the artist’s exuberant signature blends intuitively with the augmented natural texture and colour language exercised at the house.
Berluti approaches the concept of collaborations from a supplementary and illuminating perspective. When, in 2019, Kris Van Assche partnered with the furniture house Pierre Jeanneret, the collaboration illustrated aspects of craft and colour shared by the two parties. For the evolving clientele of Berluti, the approach manifests in curiosity by association: a new proposal within an aesthetic to which the client already relates. In his collaboration with Brian Rochefort, Kris Van Assche builds on the character of Berluti in a gesture of connectivity and communication key to the time in which we find ourselves.
“Right now, collaboration feels like a meaningful way to create something new. As something of a ceramics nerd, I have admired Brian Rochefort’s expression for a long time, and am fortunate enough to own one of his works. I couldn’t be more excited to interpret his vision through the lens of Berluti,” comments Kris Van Assche. Creative Director of Berluti.