British designer of Italian descent, Antonio Berardi is mainly known for his classical and sensual designs, the inspiration for which comes directly from Catholic symbolism (does anyone remember his 2003 coat illuminated with cross-forming light bulbs?), urban street style, Italian culture and post-modern art. For the Antonio Berardi spring/summer 2016 collection, the designer played with contrasts and dichotomy, alternating uber-feminine pieces with more masculine lines (and often mixing the styles, giving the collection a slightly unisex turn). Overall, his collection embraces vintage-style floral patterns and solid-color languid fabrics, used to embellish the flowing dresses with billowing trains and mannish suits, often designed with oversized proportions.
Contrasts take a huge role within the Antonio Berardi new lineup both regarding the colors and materials used, as seen for example with the chiffon flowery dresses with see-trough black lace applications, the matte flowery prints with sequins (which to be honest require an eagle eye to be noticed), and the frequent juxtaposition of delicate flowery trousers (both long and medium-length), with oversized black jackets.
In contrast to other collections we have already taken into account, Berardi likes to play (a lot) with black, creating a sort of collection within the collection, which embraces this color more than anything else in the world. We have a black jumpsuit with fringes, sheer black maxi skirts, A-line short skirts, oversized black t-shirts and black dresses with fringes and embroidery decorations. Black is also often used in contrast with the vivacity of other more colorful foulard prints, which give the collection its unique vintage look.
Besides floral prints, in fact, Berardi opted for some paisley and retro-looking pieces as well, which will surely bring the boho chic style back on top the next summer. Along with foulard prints, many of Berardi’s pieces travel back to the first decades of the XX century, when Art Deco was the main artistic expression. His dresses, with their narrow, relaxed and almost semi-fitted silhouettes, reminiscent of the Empire Period, immediately take us to those years, where strong and independent women like Marlene Dietrich were making history. Like many of Dietriech’s contemporaries, women began in those years to dress in more conventionally masculine ways, as well as experimenting in fashion with innovative seaming, draping and fabrics. In the same way, we may compare Berardi’s work to the effervescence of the Jazz Age, because he managed to create a look for every different type of occasion, personality and figure.
Last but not least, many lemon, vermillion and white pieces are definitely going to blow next summer (look at those oversized blazers!), just like his personal version of the upcoming metallic trend: somehow, without letting his collection take the sci-fi/futuristic side, he managed to give some touches of silver, gold and pearly grey here and there, making everything look highly sophisticated and classic. As usual, Berardi’s womenswear is romantic, glamorous and awe-inspiring, meaning that all his aficionados now have another collection to dream about.
Photos courtesy of Vogue