The Antonio Berardi woman is usually a femme fatale, fitted or zipped into the kind of dress that promises to turn every girl into an Italian bombshell—or Christina Hendricks. For his pre-collection, the designer also offered some knitted tank dresses that raised the body-con thermostat. But he expanded his periphery to include experiments with new volumes, especially a pleated bubble (though it still came attached to a fitted tank top) and skirts with a slight flare. There was a slight clunk to the bubble, which also came through in a jacket sleeve set under a shoulder pad, or a jacket body that was folded into itself (although that could be considered a topical Inception-like effect).

More pleasing was the virginal Catholicism of a dress that was composed from layers of white handkerchief cotton and lace with lace hankies sewn on top. It illuminated a hard/soft dichotomy in the collection, as in a shirt/jacket hybrid where the top half of the piece was sheer lace and chiffon and the bottom half was a solid crepe peplum. Same thing with the colors—the rigor of black and white, the flyaway ice-creaminess of fuchsia, mango, peppermint. The overall feel was that Berardi was toying with contrasting ideas that he will resolve more fully in his Spring collection. In the meantime, a spirit of perverse whimsy dictated that his yellow chiffon caftan summoned from the graveyard of camp the specter of Elizabeth Taylor in Boom!