• Text Daniel Challis
  • Photography Virginie Khateeb
  • 25th January 2015

Art block

Set within the walls of the Maison de L’Architecture’s ancient Convent of the Recollects, built in around 1600, guests were offered glasses of red wine as they sat waiting for this season’s presentation by Cerruti’s creative director Aldo Mario Camillo.  Set against the sonic background of Steve Reich’s Come Out, Camillo sought inspiration from Joseph Beuys, an artist who often employed the aesthetics of exploration (see his 1969 installation The Pack for a demonstration of this), using wood, felt, and leather as his go to materials. This was echoed in the show’s staging which consisted of multi-layered stepped platforms intersected by rolls of felt which mirrored the models’ hanging oversized scarves. The paved flooring also harked back to some of Beuys’ large blocky masses that fill art museums across Europe.

Beuys often spoke about the role of the artist as an ‘enchanter’ with shamanistic references running through his celebrated back catalogue. Set in such a hallowed space with the looped runway forming a spot lit triptych harking back to religious iconography, the spirit of enchanted explorer was successfully awakened. The duffel coat, a definite defining piece of this season, made two appearances in camel tones with twisted rope fastenings and thick suede panelling. Ultra-high roll necked sweaters were worn under outwear with their contrasting cuffs just visible as they went. There were also beautifully crafted gloves, hats and sunglasses, equipping the Cerruti man for those blinding moments of clarity conjured up on crisp Autumn expeditions.