Antonio Berardi’s woman is a lady of cocktail parties, gala events and formal lunches. Make that was... 

The designer took his girl on a sporty yet urbane spin around spring summer 2013, complete with skater shapes, layered transparencies and his trademark tailoring.

It was athletic from look one. White perforated mesh stood away from the body in an exaggerated peplum construction, and later, in airy square jackets. Crossover bodices featured patchworked panels of Yves Klein blue, bright yellow and graphic black.

Ball gowns, typically the main takeaway from a Berardi experience, didn’t enter the picture until halfway through the 35-look show. Even then, they had a harder edge, with visible lingerie straps and mesh-covered peplum, grande sized.

But it was the jackets rather than the dresses that emerged as the show’s stars. They were complex constructions, some with mini peplum fronts and tiny tails in the back; others with small notches cut into the lapels at the very tops of the shoulders. These kept the garments summery, ‘so you could breathe,’ the designer told us backstage.

‘As a designer, I always wanted to make amazing jackets,’ he said. ‘And then people know you for dresses, which is a great thing... But I never thought I would design dresses. My thing is really the jackets.’

In fact, Berardi cited the double-breasted jackets with the extended peplums as the most complicated pieces in the collection, not the ball gown. 

‘We tried everything to make them not look like cardboard,’ he said. ‘They flutter.’

Just like the hearts of so many Berardi girls in the crowd. 

 
 
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