Performance Art in Fashion


Berluti designs are simple but Art Director Alessandro Sartori set out to prove that simple can be extraordinary.

performance art photo headerAlessandro staged a scene worthy of an Alberto Burri painting.  Guests arrived for the Berluti Spring 2016 menswear show at the Musée Picasso in Paris greeted by models dressed in Berluti boxers, socks, and shoes lounging in striped beach chairs.  On this affable display hosted during the Paris Fashion Week Men shows Sartori stated “I wanted to transport the guests into a radical version of reality”.  And that he did.

Alessandro Sartori was appointed to his current position of Art Director for Berluti in 2011.  Alessandro creates the shoes and ready-to-wear collections for the Berluti fashion house.  Like the founders of Berluti, Alessandro possesses and is possessed by the desire and the gift to create. He has said,

“ We come from the same great world of craftsmanship and we have the same dreams : the exceptional, perfection, style and total respect for the client ”.

From the smallest finishing detail to the dynamic structure of a jacket or the precise fall of a trouser-leg, nothing is left to chance… ”  In addition Sartori has said that at Berluti “we don’t do decoration, but we offer qualities that make each piece unique and timeless.

In conversation about the man behind the brand we learned that Sartori is the son of a dress-maker.  When he describes his childhood he waxes nostalgically to his time with his mother in her dress-making workshop.  The warm fragrance of the fine materials, the squeak of the scissors, the treasure trove of offcuts.  And it is through this experience that Alessandro contributes not only to the Berluti designs but also the very vocabulary now instilled in the brand since his appointment.

Alessandro Sartori might appear traditional, and in many ways he is, he journals in moleskine notebooks which he states are filled with writing, photos, fabrics, and sketches.   He loves purple calla lillies and he is superstitious preferring to rise out of the bed only after the number 5 appears on the clock.  But somehow he infuses a strong sense of modernity into the Berluti designs.   During an interview it was revealed that Alessandro has a  penchant for films by the Coen Brothers and by the Franco-Algerian director Nadir Moknèche.   Both sets of directors offer films as moving pictures of photorealism.  And we saw that photorealism influence culminate in the courtyard of the Musee Picasso during Paris Fashion Week.

One can only imagine the excitement Alessandro had in proposing such a grand scheme.  A Performance Art show that would create a photorealistic experience on a large scale inspired by classic design, with the awesome challenge to himself to bring it all to life.


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