Tuesday 21st February

| BY Jack Moss

Antonio Berardi: Ready-to-wear AW17

Antonio Berardi’s AW17 show this morning began with, as is tradition, a quote. This time, by John. F. Kennedy. “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were and ask why not?” it read. Consider this, then, an exercise of imagination in troubled times. For Autumn, the Berardi woman had a certain toughness. Not in any literal sense (though there were some thigh-high leather boots) but more that she was somehow nomadic, almost tribal. As suggested by the hair. Would we be totally wrong to say that it’s giving us Braveheart? Braids that trailed down the model’s backs, somehow lived-in. The clothing itself had this sense of protection – suiting that tied and gathered with cables, flaring into a peplum waist, the same ties found on shirt dresses that flared towards the hemline. They were also found on parkas, that rose high on the model’s necks, that high-neckline also found on chunky woollen jumpers. That quilted jacket that cocooned the model’s body, or the rousers, wide at the leg and almost folded down at the waistline. This sense of modern armour. But there was high glamour too, because it’s Berardi, and who does a gown moment better than he? Some short with trailing sheer fabric behind, or the ones that tied at the waist with a bow and finished with amazing jewel-encrusted sleeves. Full-length gowns that come in at the waist and embellished with intricate, almost South American beading across the bodice. This sense that they had gathered up their belongings and were on the move. To close, a series of breathtaking, billowing lace gowns. Because really, how better to face troubled times than pure, unadulterated beauty?

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans