Crown for a student prince

DAVID BECKHAM and his pregnant fiancee Victoria Adams, aka Posh Spice, were the star attraction at Antonio Berardi's fashion show "The Student Prince" last night.

Both Beckham and Adams were dressed head to toe in Berardi clothes donated especially. Frankly, the designer did not need the extra publicity - the clothes were enough to get people talking.

The collection was based on the film The Student Prince which is a story about the young Raj Tut, an Indian aristocrat who is raised exclusively by women.

The show opened with seven men dressed immaculately in white suits followed closely by the women who "brought him up". These, of course, were the models, many of whom had flown in specially for the show, and they purposely appeared larger, stronger and more imposing than the men.

This is Berardi's key message - these clothes are for strong, assertive women.

This was more pared down than Berardi's usual offering, yet equally as glamorous. Each piece looks individually hand-crafted, like couture. Corsets and skirts made from wicker, jackets woven from straw and dresses decorated with delicate porcelain sequins were among the delights of the show.

One of the highlights was the solid-gold contribution from Manolo Blahnik. Not since Ferragamo designed gold sandals in the Fifties for a wealthy Australian has the precious metal been used for footwear. Blahnik's contribution was six pairs of solid gold shoes, hinged to allow the models to walk. Each pair, donated by Chiampesan, was worth pounds 10,000.

Berardi fans will rejoice that he has designed a sexy denim collection for the first time, which will mean those with less than pounds 10,000 to spend on a pair of shoes might be able to afford a pair of his jeans.

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