Armani Privé

July 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Given that he’s famous for greige and navy, Giorgio Armani sure knows his way around red. Through the entirety of his new Armani Privé show, there was a soft-focus back projection of a dancing lady in red, and the catwalk explored the contents d’une boîte laquée, a lacquered box that opened to reveal a feast of red, white, and black. Cresting on his ninth decade, Armani has been reflective of late. One of his most memorably odd early collections was a Japanese-influenced affair from 1981. There were subtle echoes of that here in the lacquer, the pagoda shoulders and origami effects, and the Kabuki-ness of the color scheme. But like his contemporary Karl Lagerfeld, Armani is also hell-bent on the future. Couture is an experimental playground for him. So there was a peculiarly appealing industrial edge to this collection. The coat of red vinyl strips studded with rhinestones was as unexpected as it sounds. The hard space-age cage that swaddled a torso was actually woven ribbon. The shimmer of a coatdress came from laboriously applied enamel studs. And all of it red.

The buzz around the Couture shows in Paris has been about young customers. Apparently nothing says youth like a pair of haute shorts. They were a major building block of Armani’s collection. But so were the A-line jackets swinging pertly off pointy little shoulders, and they were young, too. Likewise the careless confidence of breasts bared under polka-dotted tulle. And the fur that wasn’t fur (organza) and the mohair that wasn’t mohair (nylon).

But Armani wasn’t really chasing the youth vote. Another key factor in his collection was the huge swathes of net around head and torso. They blurred the silhouette, creating an air of mystery for clients who might be of the vintage of Sophia Loren, serenely seated front-row-center. And Kati Nescher’s finale moment, in a huge ball of organza atop a fishtail dress in silk crepe, echoed across the decades to Norma Desmond. That’s where the past and future collide.

It was the same with Armani’s front row. Aside from Loren, the entirely random cast of characters included Juliette Binoche, Jared Leto, Kate Hudson, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Pink. “I can’t wait to get my hands on that red dress with the black back,” the latter enthused. “I love to sparkle.”
—Tim Blanks
Runway Feed

Armani Privé

January 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Our review will be posted shortly. See the complete collection by clicking the image at left.
Runway Feed

Armani Privé

August 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion News

Giorgio Armani’s morning-to-midnight scenario gave him the perfect excuse to offer his clients an entire wardrobe in the most traditional sense of haute couture. If that didn’t make for his most drama-laden show, that’s scarcely the point when you are as absorbed by the exigencies of daily dressing as Mr. Armani is.

Nor was the kind of woman who would arise to don the pale blues and lilacs paired with black velvet pants that were part of the matinal Armani offering really the point. His point was this: easy jackets with a broad, slightly peaked shoulder, trousers with a generous volume, flat shoes. And Armani has made this point so convincingly throughout his career that its reiteration here could be called icing on a billion-dollar cake.

There were dresses, the best being a pair of lean cocktail numbers in lavender and mauve organza. Armani’s tendency to pair models on the catwalk, coupled with the subtly exaggerated makeup, gave these looks a slightly android Blade Runner appeal that underscored the futurism that infuses Armani’s work. So did his headgear. The little black berets by Philip Treacy and the beaded veils created a through line of uniformity.

Armani said it was mystery he was after with those veils, and to his credit, when Aymeline Valade eased down the catwalk in folds of midnight organza, her shoulders veiled in tulle, her features subtly concealed, it was mystery he got.
—Tim Blanks
Runway Feed