According to Antonio Berardi’s show notes, he wasn’t citing any precise references for his collection this season. But after the show, the designer admitted that Prince, who passed away earlier this year, had been an influence. “I was a massive Prince fan, and I wanted a touch of that decadence,” Berardi said.
To wit: The elegantly flamboyant shapes, richly embellished fabrics — and the hushed shades of purple — were all a subtle nod to the late singer’s style. But Berardi wove this touchstone with a light hand, saying that he was also inspired by the idea of “something that’s never really complete.”
So a lilac cotton sundress had a raw, handkerchief hem, its bodice embroidered with a cascade of metal and silk fringing. And an elaborate corset, embroidered with diamond-encrusted flowers, lent glamour when it cinched in simple, silk shirtdress. Beautiful fabrics stood out, as in one rich, floral-embroidered silk in ombré shades of blues or oranges, which the designer fashioned into dandy pantsuits. And Prince’s paisley made an appearance, too, embroidered in purple, fringed brocade on structured, peplum jackets or sleeveless trenches.
Coupled with Berardi’s perennial contrast of masculine tailoring with feminine, fluid designs, this collection walked a strong yet graceful line.