September 08, 2007
Antonio Berardi, a mountaineering and surfing guy? You wouldn't necessarily expect it from a designer known for his taste for the ornate, but those kind of active pursuits were the starting point for his secondary line this season. "I'm in Tokyo a lot, where this collection is made, but it doesn't feel fresh there anymore," he said. "What does is American sportswear, so I decided to do it in Japanese fabrics like treated papers and nylons." Working with those materials, the kind that are designed to fold and pack away, and sticking to a cement-gray palette, Berardi sent out one sporty street coat after anotherfrom a cropped windbreaker to a short trench to a parka cut full through the back like a cape. Underneath all of the great outerwear, there were drapey T-shirt dresses in fine cotton voiles. The outdoorsy vibe came across in indigo, acid yellow, and white tie-dye apron dresses, tank tops, and short skirts, as well as in a group of awkwardly stiff clear plastic coats and jackets. Strictly runway material, Berardi assured. There's a more supple plastic back in his Japanese factory. All in all, showing in New York seems to have given the European designer an energy boost.