Giorgio Armani celebrates from dawn till dusk in Milan
Thursday was a special day for Giorgio Armani, which hosted a dawn-till-dusk marathon in a range of iconic Milan locations that have served as the stage for some of the brand's biggest successes. From the fashion quadrangle where its hotel, concept stores and restaurants are based, to Zona Tortona, in the South of the city, home to its Silos museum and the theatre where its runway shows take place. At each location, the spotlight was focused on a different one of the couturier's multiple talents, from jewellery to apparel, to accessories.
Beneath a cloudy sky typical of Milan, this "Armani Day" began in a suite on the second floor of the Armani Hotel, where the first Giorgio Armani Haute Joaillerie collection was unveiled. This offering joins the Giorgio Armani Privé Haute Joaillerie line launched in March, and complements the luxury fashion house's haute couture line with unique pieces.
The Giorgio Armani Haute Joaillerie collection is positioned in a lower price segment, ranging from 950 euros for a ring to 35,000 euros for a necklace. Designed by the couturier in collaboration with a dedicated team of goldsmiths, the new jewellery range is made entirely with gold, diamonds and other precious stones, such as topaz, citrine, prasiolite (green quartz) and onyx.
The collection is made up of some 50 pieces, including rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, gourmettes and brooches, and has a simple, yet sophisticated elegance. This first offering has been built around three themes: Borgonuovo, Sì and Firmamento. The first of these channels a geometric aesthetic and takes inspiration from the brand's logo and its stylised G and A. The pieces are made with a special alloy of yellow and rose gold, producing a slightly darker gold colour.
The second theme, Sì, is inspired by the brand's fragrance of the same name, playfully reimagining a flower with black onyx petals and covering the pearls of certain necklaces with silk.
The third and final theme is, as its name suggests ("Firmamento" translates as "firmament" in English), inspired by starry nights. Sleek moons sparkle at the end of chains and one pendant features a constellation of shooting stars in white gold and diamond.
Next on the agenda was an aperitif at the Armani/Silos museum on Via Bergognone in order to celebrate the opening of a new exhibition focusing on the designer's accessories. "It's an aspect of my work which is, perhaps, less well known than other domains in which I'm more active, but it's just as important," he stated in a release.
The designer first launched himself into the world of accessories in the late 1980s, and the exhibition, which runs until 2 February, gives visitors the opportunity to discover incredible footwear and bag archives. All of the pieces reflect Giorgio Armani's style through their discreet elegance, helping to finish and define silhouettes without ever overpowering them. Covering some 40 years of creativity, the exhibition displays a wide variety of pieces exploring different concepts and chromatic themes.
Leaving the Silos, Armani Day attendees only had to cross the street to reach Armani/Teatro, where the brand unveiled its Pre-Fall collection for 2020 during the evening, having already revealed its first-ever cruise collection in Tokyo in May.
The young models were elegant but natural, with a masculine touch that was never needlessly exaggerated.
The dark space was suddenly illuminated by a stylised neon version of Giorgio Armani's signature, which hung the length of the ceiling, emitting a white glow that later shifted into red. The first models came down the runway in black pantsuits, which alternated all the possible pairings: a check jacket coupled with slim trousers, a jacquard cardigan with more fluid pants, an allover white look featuring a double-breasted blazer with loose trousers, a bolero-like mini-jacket with golden buttons.
In their beautifully sober outfits featuring precious and delicate details, the young models were elegant but natural, with a masculine touch that was never needlessly exaggerated. Some donned turbans or felt boaters, taking on the air of 1930s garçonnes. For the evening, they slipped into sparkling gowns or transparent blouses spangled with rhinestones. The most beautiful looks of all, however, were simple satin ensembles pairing simple shirts and pants.
Although black was the dominante colour, flashes of garnet and burgundy were incorporated into looks through little touches such as bags and shoes, or even embroidery, occasionally taking over a full outfit, as in one particularly superb shimmering red velvet pantsuit. As always at Armani, a handful of male models also punctuated the runway show.
The collection channelled the very essence of Giorgio Armani, hovering between rigour and sensuality, as seen in the impeccably cut little black dresses that seemed to be draped effortlessly over the models' bodies. Velvet, one of the brand's most emblematic materials, was also a strong presence, appearing in airy trousers, tops and jackets, as well as coats, such as one floor-length grey number that reflected the changing colours of the moon.
The designer's appearance in a halo of light at the end of the show won an ovation from the audience. But this very special day for the brand would only end much later into night, after a dinner, followed by a soirée at the Armani Privé club in the company of Italian singer Giorgia.
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