I questioned for a moment, after watching this morning’s Antonio Berardi spring/summer 2015 show, whether to bother commenting on it at all. From a purely practical perspective, it is highly unlikely that anyone in the Midwest is going to attend such a high end, high profile, red carpet event as to justify the purchase of one of these lovely gowns or ensembles. At the same time, from a perspective of appreciating the artistry and creativity of fashion design, there is hardly a better collection to demonstrate such beauty than this. Obviously, you can see which line of reasoning won out.

Granted, to refer to any Berardi collection as “ready-to-wear” is something of a misnomer. Berardi is primarily a red carpet label, his sumptuous clothes mean to be carefully tailored for the person wearing them, not something one walks in off the street and yanks off a hanger. Berardi does a lot through his design, though, that influences others and effects the general direction of British fashion.

One of the things Berardi seems to “get” in this collection is that climate change is a reality that effects how we dress. Typically, he goes large and billowing with his spring/summer collection, and there’s certainly plenty of that here. At the same time, though, he has included a number of more tightly tailored pieces, something he normally reserves for his fall/winter collection, because conditions are rather turbulence. Finding the opulence within turbulence is the whole point of his collection and he does so unlike anyone else.

Things to watch for include a number of surprising jackets, including an orange bomber that was instantly a crowd favorite the moment it hit the runway. This is an interesting, youthful look to be pairing with gowns, but he does it more than once and it works every time. Another particularly interesting look came in tuxedo-styled suit that was nude at the shoulders and followed a color gradient to a dark chocolate at the waist, and then all the way back light to being sheer at the ankles.

Prints in this collection are quite dramatic and full of color from blue to red to orange. Generally speaking, which is a little difficult to do, looks are well structured with well considered lines, cuts, and folds. Most the looks are quite contemporary, and, as one might expect, there are plenty of jewels and sequins and other glittery things just about everywhere one looks. This is a collection designed to get attention.

Yet, there are still some soft, quiet pieces, lovely sweaters that sit silently above lovely bulbous skirts of silk. The more tailored looks are the most adaptive in the collection, and there is plenty here that would work for most any formal event, not just a red carpet. One has options.

Antonio Berardi may not be within the price range of the average American shopper, but there is still plenty here to watch, to consider carefully, and maybe even envy a little. What is new for Berardi are looks we’ll see again every where else.

Photo credit: Stefano Masse

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