|Born||1968 (age 49–50)
Grantham, Lincolnshire, England, United Kingdom
|Education||Central Saint Martins, class of 1993|
|Label(s)||Antonio Berardi, Extè|
|Awards||Harper's Bazaar Dress of the Year 2009|
Antonio Berardi (born 1968, Grantham, Lincolnshire, England), is a British fashion designer of Sicilian descent, known especially for his dresses. He currently shows his collection at London fashion week, but has shown at Milan and Paris in the past.
Early life and career
Berardi's parents were Sicilians who emigrated to Britain in the 1950s. He developed an interest in fashion at a young age. As a nine-year-old he saved his money for Armani shirts with leather gusset shoulders. After secondary (high) school he decided on a career in design and, after attending Lincoln College of Art and Design, applied to study a fashion degree at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design at the University of the Arts London. However, Berardi's application was rejected and he began working as an assistant to John Galliano shortly after. In 1990 he applied to Central Saint Martins for a third time and was accepted to the programme led by Wendy Dagworthy.
He graduated from the college in 1993, and in 1994 created his graduate collection which caught the attention of Angela Quaintrell, a buyer for London fashion holding group Liberty. He produced his first fashion week collection in 1995, under his own eponymous label. Kylie Minogue was the show's main model, and accessories were designed by Manolo Blahnik and Philip Treacy. In 1998 Berardi also designed under Italian label Ruffo Research, while maintaining his own label. The following year he negotiated a partnership with Italian label Extè. He became the label's head designer, and Extè also produced his own line. Berardi left Extè in 2001, and since then his label has been backed by fashion group Gibo.
Aesthetic and influences
Berardi is known for his "sensual, figure-hugging dresses" and a "striking, classical, dressed-up" style featuring "advanced fabrics and manufacturing techniques." He has named music, independent film, post-modern art, Catholic symbolism, Italian art and culture, urban street style, lingerie, and the female form as his design influences.
Berardi designed a coat illuminated with light bulbs that lit up to form a crucifix, shown at his autumn/winter 2003 collection in Milan. His design was commended for its technical and artistic achievement by the fashion press. Perhaps his most famous design was a trompe-l'œil corset dress in a black-and white color scheme, featuring lace detailing, worn by Gwyneth Paltrow in November 2008 at the premiere of the film Two Lovers. Berardi's dress was praised by fashion journalists for its "combination of the graphic monochromatic look and body-conscious silhouette" and was named "Dress of the Year" for 2009 by Harper's Bazaar magazine.
- "Dress of the Year 2009". Fashion Museum, Bath. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
- "Antonio Berardi" Lincolnshire Echo 19 March 2009; retrieved 30 April 2011
- "Antonio Berardi profile on FMD". Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
- Armstrong, Lisa (3 May 2013). "Antonio Berardi: Back on top thanks to Gwyneth's bottom". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
- Treneman, Ann (14 March 1998). "Profile: Wendy Dagworthy – Mentor a la mode". The Independent. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- "Antonio Berardi" London Fashion Week; retrieved 30 April 2011
- "Profile of a fashion innovator: Antonio Berardi". The Guardian. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
- "Antonio Berardi Refused to Work with Lady Gaga". New York Magazine, 11 December 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-30.