September 18, 2011 London
For Spring, his obsessions ran to armor and menswear tailoring—essentially both hard played against soft. But Berardi has a way of working his ideas down to the bone, not looking up from getting the wonky details right, which sometimes hampers the big picture.
On the micro level, his idea of, say, embroidering a metallic patent leather ("It reminds you of fifties cars," he said) onto dresses in waist-defining armored panels was clever, and actually quite beautiful as the racer halter that formed the top of a black dress. But otherwise it was worked in ways you felt you'd seen so many times before. That seemed to often be the case here, with the high collars on dresses, the heavily beaded pants under a filmy chiffon top, and those vaguely medieval bustier gowns with beaded jackets.
Tailoring fared better. Suiting that subtly pieced together three or four various textures in sort of overlapping sartorial tectonic plates made you stare to suss out the situation. It's the kind of attention you imagine the Berardi woman doesn't shy away from. Much simpler were a pair of looks with fluid color-blocked pants and great slouchy jackets. They were really just an extension of his light and colorful Resort collection. When they passed by, you felt you had a moment to breathe.