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.