In the grand surrounds of the Great Hall in Westminster, proceedings got underway with a generous helping of immaculate white tailoring.
Antonio Berardi's identity can sometimes be a source of confusion. Is he Italian? Is he English? Well, he's British Sicilian actually, born and raised here in Blighty and a graduate of Central Saint Martins. But given the look of his collections - sleek, sexy, structured - it's not hard to see why some think Berardi is solely Italian. And having now seen what the designer has in store for S/S 2011, it is probable that people will continue to make similar assumptions about Berardi's cultural and geographical roots. In the grand surrounds of the Great Hall in Westminster, proceedings got underway with a generous helping of immaculate white tailoring, available in a variety of guises and, as it turns out, colours. There was the relaxed, louche silhouette created by wide legged, high waisted trousers teamed with sheer T shirt and cropped jacket. Or there was the secretarial form-fitting pencil skirt with flick out fishtail and matching jacket - perfect for bending seductively over desks. Figure hugging column dresses, deconstructed to reveal a touch of cleavage, were standout pieces and sure to elicit an admiring reaction from the menfolk. So far, so good. But was it really necessary for Berardi to show us each look again in black and then fuschia? Possibly not. (And the thought behind the gold hoop earrings accompanying each look? Still unclear.) Proving he can do romance as well as sex, Berardi brought out a series of flowing chiffon dresses and girlish cocktail dresses in the palest, most innocent, of blush tones. Together with jackets and trench coats in an olive hue, this was a colour combination that really worked and a highlight of the collection. Meanwhile, there would have been no harm in editing out a superfluous section of metallic silver pieces (along with the numerous repetitions of certain looks) to give the collection a more focused and coherent feel.