Slick tailoring that followed the curves of the body came to the fore at Antonio Berardi this season, as the designer said he’d been inspired by his parents — who emigrated from Sicily to London — and their inventive ways with making clothes. “[They] were incredibly poor, and they relied on relatives in America sending over boxes of used clothes,” said Berardi after the show. “They would re-appropriate them, cut them up, change them into things that they thought were fashionable.”
The clearest interpretation of that idea was the Prince of Wales check tailoring, inset with curved panels of khaki and white jersey, or a shiny pink jacquard. There were jackets — with sleeves and without — paired with mini skirts or cropped, slightly flared pants.
Also in this hand-worked spirit, Berardi fashioned evening gowns in broderie anglaise, one body-hugging in white and red and trimmed with lace. Another black cotton organdy broderie anglaise number looked dramatic with its asymmetric neckline and floor-sweeping skirts. Berardi commented that the gowns are “delicate and will crumple — the beauty is that it takes on whoever’s wearing it.” Gingham check dresses, meanwhile, with multilayered skirts and worn with lace-up, Victorian boots, had a pioneer feel.
Exemplifying Berardi’s way of drawing on both masculine and feminine elements — resulting in designs that always look unmistakably womanly — the collection had a strength to it while also conveying a poetic sense of emotion.