Giorgio Armani’s earthy take on mythology
If any Italian designer packed a lot into his week, it was Giorgio Armani, who presented a collection of spiritual style on Sunday afternoon inside his historic headquarters at number 11 Via Borgonuovo.
Earlier in the day, up the street at number 19, Armani also unveiled his latest handbag, named La Prima, as it is based on his very first expansive yet incisive bag in 1995.
On Thursday evening, the designer even found time between his Emporio and signature collection shows to celebrate the opening of the new stadium of Olimpia Milano, the peninsula’s leading basketball team. Giorgio is quite a fan. He sat front row beaming as they walloped Urania in a local match – 98 to 49. Signor Armani happens to own the team.
Back in his city center palazzo on Sunday, Armani was in an ebullient mood, after a subtle collection which he entitled "Earth." Hence, earthy colors throughout, beginning with flawless pantsuits with chauffeur’s jackets, super-light chiffon riding jackets cut without collard, and halterneck sleeveless dresses gathered majestically with vertical seams.
Throughout the tones were muted: liquid blues, light turquoise, pale pearly grays. Everything had a hidden structure but always seemed super light. This was Armani reminding us that, when it comes to tailoring, he arguably remains the single most influential designer of the past half-century.
For evening, one entered into couture territory with organza crafted into splendid boleros or striking, slim cocktails, finished at the neck with dramatic bows. Everything was accompanied by glass bauble earrings, massive intricate metal pendants and some superb stiff chiffon cloche hats studded with crystals.
We know Coco Chanel loved multiple strands of pearls, but Signor Armani prefers a score of faux coral necklaces: sustainable Italian chic at its best.
For his finale, Armani sent out a rather beautiful, floor-sweeping crystal column in lilac and rose, finished with a metal skullcap and Ashanti earrings. The model pirouetting to much applause in the courtyard, before Armani appeared to embrace her amid emotional scenes on Via Borgonuovo. Here his inspiration was provided by the ancient spirits, nymphs, a fact which became evident as this dandy deity wafted by.
Armani’s return to his fine palazzo in central Milan has been a smart move, but this show did not quite reach the heights of his brilliant men’s display in June. Nor did it break much new ground. Nonetheless, its Italo-Grecian-Asian aesthetic was completely in harmony with Giorgio’s DNA and this designer’s ability to create alluring yet discrete fashion for women of very good taste.
"Let’s hope I have succeeded in that," smiled Armani in his backstage, before shooing out a gang of fans. "I’ve another show at 5 PM, so back to work."
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