Giorgio Armani almost always shows at his minimalist compound on the edge of Milan. The catwalk is unadorned. There’s never any of the kitsch set design other brands adore. The mood is serious. The models deadpan. The clothes monochrome and pared back.
So what on earth happened last night?
At the bottom of his enormous old house in the centre of the city, Armani has a secret, bijou catwalk. Doesn’t everyone?
Twenty years ago he showed his collections on it. Well, now he’s invited the fashion pack back into his cream-silk-cushioned hideaway for a show they’ll never forget.
For a start, there was a movie backdrop of an idyllic ocean with the sound of waves lapping. And the models were doing something funny with their faces. Were they… smiling? To be honest some of them obviously hadn’t cracked a grin in years and found it a challenge. Others were positively beaming. Meanwhile the sound track was a rollicking selection of Italian seaside favourites.
As for the clothes. There was only one word for them and that was: jaunty.
This was a marine-themed display of all the best of Armani. Of course there were his clean, characteristically elegant lines. This may be a change of tone but he’s never anything but classy. However he did throw out his usual muted greige colour palette in favour of shocking pink, scarlet, and lots of variations on sea blue, aquamarine, cerulean and navy.
A luscious procession of gauzy sequinned evening dresses came in every shade of sunset from pink to mauve. And where his accessories would usually be dignified and minimal these were playful, including ropes and ropes of long coloured beads and huge crystal earrings.
There were also minute clear plastic minaudieres so small they would hardly fit a lipstick. Who cares? Worn on a long chain they looked just like jewellery.
The mood was joyful. But still, when the grand old man took his bow against his dusky seascape background, it brought a lump to the throat.Internet Explorer Channel Network