Antonio Berardi studied at the prestigious Central Saint Martins, whilst at the same time working as John Galliano’s assistant. His graduation show was spotted buy some of the fashion industry’s leading buyers including London’s luxury department store Liberty. From there is collections grew from strength to strength and Berardi is now a regular on the London Fashion Week schedule. The British born designer is known for his tough-tailoring and body conscious gowns, which often reflect the glamour and style of his Sicilian heritage.
StyleNest met up with Antonio to talk about his forthcoming collection, his favourite London haunts and how he’s coping with the hectic run up to next month’s London Fashion Week.
How is everything going on the run up to London Fashion Week?
Every show is frightening, but in a good way and it never gets easier. Perhaps that is the best thing about it all. The run up to the show every emotion comes into play from expectation to adrenaline, fear to euphoria.
So many brilliant designers start their careers in London. What is it about the city that nurtures talent so well?
For me, London is about tailoring, experimentation and about the new, the now and the future. London’s ethos embraces young talent so well and it provides a great source of inspiration. I love the buzz of the city and the electric styles you see on the street – everything from high fashion to high street and vintage. You just never know what’s around the corner. From poor meets rich to punk meets chic, the mix is what makes London so special and there’s never a dull moment to be had.
What other shows on the LFW schedule would you love to see?
Peter Pilotto, Christopher Kane and of course Tom Ford.
We loved your minimalist silhouette in soft creams and cobalt blues from the last collection, what can we expect to see for AW13?
All things architectural, with our ubiquitous sensual sense of woman.
Have you got any plans for collaborations coming up in 2013?
I am working with Peroni to launch an exclusive global retail website for the “Bellagio by Antonio Berardi’ capsule collection which will launch at London Fashion Week.
Where do you love to eat during London Fashion Week?
To relax I take tea at Claridge’s – I just adore that place. For dinner, The Delaunay is fantastic – grand surroundings and impeccable service, but I also love that you can just order a hot dog. It’s genius. Another favourite is Scott’s in Mayfair which is an old favourite and perfect for enjoying drinks and seafood at the bar. I’d also recommend the Pollen Street Social as the atmosphere is really buzzy and the food is incredible. Make sure you book as the waiting lists are long.
Describe your survival guide for London Fashion Week?
A large bottle of water, my team, and my family.
Will you be hitting the London Fashion Week parties?
My team and I don’t have time to party in London as we are usually so busy perfecting the looks late into the night before the show. The party for us is finishing the final hems, sewing the final sequins and fitting all the looks to the models.
You studied at the renowned Central Saint Martins, tell us a little about your time there.
Central Saint Martins was the only place to be. There is no place like it, and I feel very lucky to have been there. Back in my day, it opened every door there was to open. It’s the greatest private club in the world.
Do you have any advice for aspiring young designers?
My advice for students would be never say never.
Describe the Berardi woman.
I think she is a strong, hard-working, and leads an interesting high-powered lifestyle. She parties but is demure. My clothes are not really the kind of clothes women go shopping in.
How will you relax when the show’s over?
I will go out for a nice dinner with Sophia Neophitou, my Creative Director and the rest of the team. We spend so much time together we are like a family. Then it will be back to Milan to see my dog Bruno.