With his business problems laid to rest once and for all, Antonio Berardi felt like cutting loose with his Resort collection. "Everything was a bit too formal with Berardi," he said. "So I was looking at what I'm about. And I was looking at my trainers…" Believe it or not, it didn't take a total suspension of disbelief to see reflections of high-performance footwear in the zaps of fluoro color, in the hyper-athletic fabrics, and in the pure form of Berardi's clothes, sheathing the body, contoured with stretch the way a trainer hugs a foot.
All of which re-energized Berardi's signature union of sobriety and sensuality. Those sheaths were inescapable: Some with zips running the length of their spine, others with geometric panels of mesh inserted diagonally (a trick Berardi picked up from photographer Georges Rousse) or printed with monochrome florals placed over graphic geometries. Engineered prints are new to Berardi's vocabulary, but, post-Katrantzou, they're practically a trademark of London Fashion 2.0.
Though the bod-con one-pieces were the standouts in the collection, Berardi also liked the idea of separates and, even more, the illusion of separates, as in the striking evening dress with its black skirt, white "corseted" waist, and sheer, cherry red bustier top. Antonio's sobriety has always leaned toward the Catholic, so it was fun to see his inner devil get a look-in.