Antonio Berardi is a young designer with a British-Italian background and
Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design credentials.
After briefly showing as a recent graduate in the late Nineties, he
vanished from the London fashion scene only to reappear in Milan. No wonder the
Italians embraced his hybrid sensibility: he loves girls in eveningwear
dressed to the max and never holds back.
Berardi's southern Italian roots show in his affinity for decoration, and
his London upbringing in his taste for tougher, punk-influenced styling. For Fall
2002, he used patterned leather made to look like fabric, in swing-skirted
dresses with corseted torsos emphasized with multiple studded belts. Berardi
revved up white tailoring and black jersey with bondage straps
bristling with silver hardware, and wasn't afraid to send out a pant suit in
bubble-gum pink lace and leather. With his asymmetric chiffon dresses and
loudly patterned lace-and-bead-encrusted boots, the designer's bravado
performance was very much in the vein of John Galliano's work at Dior. For
next season, he has signed a deal with Gibo which offers him the chance to
develop a more personal signature.