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Antonio Berardi

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Antonio Berardi's weapon of choice is the sexy dress, but he has made clothes that wouldn't read as a walk of shame during the morning hours. Still, backstage after the show, the first thing the designer mentioned was daywear as his biggest news. "I wanted a collection of clothes from day to evening," he said. "Not just cocktail and evening."

There was certainly a softer, more casual quality to skinny, cropped wool trousers worn with soft-shouldered boyfriend jackets, even with a stud-covered hem or cut in an exquisite lime jacquard. But Berardi's directive to himself was überluxury. "I want everything to feel like, Oh my god, I want a piece," he said. In some cases, that was achieved by adding layers to his deft tailoring, like the standaway motorcycle collars and lapels on slim coats and jackets and the fat, folded and stacked pleats on miniskirts. Though for no-brainer, luxury appeal, you'd probably go for the chic white shearling car coat rather than the overworked one with bullion beaded sleeves. Another beauty: a navy cashmere coat with a fox top and a trim of sheared mink.

The new inroads to day bled into evening. A navy double-faced silk and lace top with cuffed pants is a nice alternative when va-va-voom just doesn't feel right. Unfortunately, Berardi's after-eight wear was uneven. A great idea like recasting his bustier paneled dress in organza and tarnished silver bullion was like a shining beacon amid clunky experiments with an over-dyed Lurex. It's too bad, because Berardi is talented enough to achieve greatness with such an outré fabric.

Luxury is also feeling good in your clothes. Ill-conceived footwear has tripped up this designer before, and today again it was painful to watch as models were hobbled by their beautiful, strappy Mary Janes—an unnecessary and seemingly avoidable distraction.
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