Monday 18th September

| BY Jack Moss

Antonio Berardi: Ready-to-Wear SS18

Topical *and* political: the show notes left on our seats at the Antonio Berardi show were simple and to the point: a quote from Roosevelt reminding us all that we, too, are all immigrants somewhere in our family timeline.

And this was the starting point for Berardi’s divine spring collection, which he based on the experience of his parents as Italian immigrants to the UK. “It was about making something out of nothing; of looking your very best with no money,” said the designer of his family’s reappropriation of old clothes, which they cut and spliced and re-sewed into new garments for a new life here.

This meant intricate and beautifully tailored nip-and-kick jackets belted or buttoned in myriad fabrics: sections of Prince of Wales check and voile came together in sexy tight patchwork silhouettes; trousers too were cropped short and kicky and when worn with the jackets as suits felt like a new approach to power dressing – sexy and linear; beautifully aggressive. A structured skirt suit, with the back slashed at the centre seam, was held together with a criss-cross shoestring and resembled an Admiral’s epaulettes.

Sportswear was dissected and reissued too, as a hooded poncho came re-spun in a gold daubed fabric for a fresh take on evening, an area Berardi has made his own. One quick look, above, at the red new-way for nighttime looks proves the point. Much of the collection was teamed with sharp dom-style patent boots, some lace front others just simply “in charge”. Of the intricate faux lace gloves skilfully painted on the models’ hands in black and white, said Berardi “its illusion, its about looking your very best.” These surely the perfect allegory for an incredible and moving show. His family tell us they are very proud.

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