Dress of the Year 2009

Dress of the Year 2009 announced at the Fashion Museum

February 2010


Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Fashion Museum is proud to announce the Dress of the Year 2009. Lucy Yeomans, editor of the glossy fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar, has chosen a dress designed by Antonio Berardi for the coveted title of Dress Of The Year.


Gwyneth Paltrow wore Berardi’s Dress Of The Year for the premiere of her film Two Lovers in Paris in November 2008. The black and white trompe l’oeil corset dress featuring lace panelling was originally shown in Berardi’s Spring/Summer 2009 collection. The combination of the graphic monochromatic look and body conscious silhouette (two of the biggest trends of 2009) make it a front runner in the fashion stakes, but the dress also pre-empted the vogue for see-through, underwear-as-outerwear looks that have been paraded on the international catwalks for Spring/Summer 2010.

Gwyneth Paltrow herself spoke about Antonio Berardi Dress of the Year 2009: ‘ When I tried this dress on, I was amazed by the construction and the uniqueness of it. It was at once elegant and sexy and very very much its own dress. It is one of the absolute favourite dresses I have worn and I feel so lucky that we had that evening together in Paris’.


Born in the UK to Sicilian parents, Berardi originally began his career in the mid-1990s showing at London Fashion Week under the Cool Britannia banner. The talented Central Saint Martin’s graduate (he had already worked as an assistant to John Galliano – his graduation collection selling in Liberty and A La Mode) helped put London back on the fashion map as part of a triumvirate along with Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan. The trio rocked the world with their individual, flamboyant and fantastical fashion designs.


From the start Berardi’s shows were a hot ticket for the international press and buyers with top models wearing his designs. His debut catwalk presentation featured pop singer Kylie Minogue modelling a scanty red lingerie inspired dress.


After starting the new Millennium by relocating his business to Milan, Berardi returned to the London catwalk in September 2009 to much acclaim. The designer’s trademark style mixes sensual figure-hugging dresses and a slick take on traditional tailoring with a touch of romantic glamour. “I love a curvaceous look,” is how Berardi describes his sexy and exquisitely made silhouettes. 


Berardi’s Italian heritage has earned him the reputation for celebrating the female form so, not surprisingly, his dresses have become a favourite on the red carpet. His faithful clientele include Beyonce and Victoria Beckham, who was a front row guest along with husband David at one of Berardi’s first shows. “Antonio knows how to make a woman feel sexy yet still contemporary,” she says.

The Dress of the Year is on display at the Fashion Museum from 12 o’clock on Friday 5 February 2010. The Fashion Museum at the Assembly Rooms Bath, is open daily 10.30am -4.00pm, exit 5pm.  Visit the website http://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/ for further information.