January 03, 2014 New York
Ground control to Major Tom…Antonio Berardi never mentioned David Bowie, but when a designer tells you the key inspirations for his new collection were glam rock and starscapes, it's hard to avoid thinking that Bowie made his way in there, somewhere (especially after that big Bowie show at the V&A and all). At any rate, Berardi put his own spin on outer space, deploying a clutch of cool materials to get the point across. The most eye-catching was an iridescent cloque that came off like an interplanetary brocade; the most interesting fabric to feel was a gray Tyvek streaked with wool. Berardi used both of these materials in sculptural looks, like strapless dresses with trailing "comet" hems, or dramatic ruffled capes. The cloque also made an appearance in Berardi's signature body-con pieces, such as a zip-detailed minidress. The designer's fans will like that dress and his curvilinear cropped jackets; his beautiful gray flannel coats will find a broader audience. Elsewhere, it was harder to locate the appeal: The folded shapes on certain pieces came off rather ungainly, for instance. You got the sense that the designer was working too far out of his comfort zone. Whereas the best look here—a pair of sharply cut, ultra-wide-leg trousers topped with a sweater swirled with feathers—totally hit the Berardi sweet spot. Superb tailoring, a touch of the operatic. Done.
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