Armani Privé: Il Conformista couture
Giorgio Armani harked back to the 30s and the golden era of Art Deco with his latest haute couture collection, Armani Privé Spring 2019.
His leitmotif throughout was the brilliant 1970 film, Il Conformista,whose Oscar-winning director Bernardo Bertolucci passed away late last year.
Bertolucci would have loved this collection with its mixture of precision and opulence, presented Tuesday night to great applause inside the gilded salons of the early 18th-century Hôtel d’Evreux in Place Vendôme.
Il Conformista, a brittle tale of decadence and betrayal in Fascist Italy, whose impossibly well-dressed protagonists’ honeymoon in Paris turns into the assassination of an intellectual opponent of the regime, was the ideal inspiration for this collection.
The legendarily beautiful art direction of the movie echoed in the hyper precise bodices and jackets in this show. Made with remarkable combinations of micro sequins or macro paillettes, the pantsuits, pencil skirts and boleros were chic and highly flattering.
For evening, beautiful clinging dresses in faded geometrical Chinoiserie patterns, or articulated bustier dresses embroidered in crystals.
Pretty well every model appeared in either tiny cloche hats or intriguing beaded skullcaps with exact fringes in bright reds and blues. Again, hinting at but never lifting, the styles worn by actresses Stefania Sandrelli and Dominique Sanda in their famous sexually charged dance scene.
The key material, however, was lacquer, a principal theme in Art Deco, a movement which reached its heights right when Il Conformista was set. Lacquer is also the name of Armani’s latest scent, which the designer previewed with sampling vials in the show invitation
An ebullient Armani, dressed in a perfectly cut velvet tuxedo, received extended and noisy applause when he took his bow. Most notably in the opening salon, where Céline Dion and Juliette Binoche joined Uma Thurman and daughter Maya Hawke, the latter wearing a mannish tuxedo that could have been lifted from some of the more redolent moments in Il Conformista, one of high fashion’s favorite all-time films.
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