Sunday 25th February

| BY Roxy Lola

Antonio Berardi: Ready-to-Wear AW18

Antonio Berardi is on fire. Hawt. Searing. Lighting up the room. This was non-traditional Berardi, out of his British comfort zone and into Milan. Personal. His signature but with a newness. An unapologetic strength and belief. Spicing it up. The starting point was the 19th century hermaphrodite Herculine Barbin – Camille. An “exceptional female” as she called herself. So exceptional that Camille profoundly influenced Prince, our God, which in turn inspired him to “produce an album of songs, sung completely from a feminine point of view.” Genius. That album was unreleased but some tracks made it on to the groundbreaking 1987 album Sign of The Times and the track ‘Camille’ is very much an emotive touchstone for now and all the discussions and increased consciousness around gender.

Clever how Mr. Berardi can add in strength and solidarity without a typical masculinity. We like his sensibility. He has always championed power in women. He works with our Editrix In Chief Sophia Neophitou after all. And so flaming chiffon swayed, put out quickly by a kind of underwater life force of prints and blueness that drifted but grounded their strength. Mediterranean brilliant turquoise flowed. Tiny silvery embroideries delicately twinkled. Taffetas added resonance, body and light; double wools a dose of chic luxury and crocodile printed velvets were sliced into the pieces. Damn fine. “Romance always romance, prevails.” Yes, it’s all about love. Prince knew it, Camille knew it and Berardi delivered it today with a collection of looks that had heart and soul and will look amazing worn in Milan or London and on anyone who dares to be themselves.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd Evans