July 22, 2009 London
If there's one thing that can be said about the Antonio Berardi woman, it's that she likes a leggy dress. Berardi was quick to intuit the feeling for miles-above-the-knee two seasons ago, and he appears to have achieved the near-impossible feat of inching it up even further for Cruise. Still, with scarcely more than a yard to play with in the distance between shoulder and thigh-top, what leeway can there be for newness? Berardi's solution is a move away from tourniquet-tight hourglass to a silhouette with a roomier, more covered top—half t-shirt, half cape, in some cases—and the cling shifted to the hip. "We played a little bit with volume for a less restricted approach," he says, "less precise, but more real." With all this abbreviation, it still takes deft moves to avoid trashiness, but there's something just classy enough in Berardi's choice of midnight blue textured paillettes and pastel animal print that lets him get away with it.
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