Perhaps the most grand show ever in couture in Paris occurred on the third day of Paris Couture Week. It was Italian, neo-classical… it was Armani. There was a noticeable shift in Giorgio Armani’s mood at Giorgio Armani Privé- the black box as a show space was gone, in came the slide projections of the walls of Palazzo Corsini, his via Borgonuovo 11 studio from central Milan and a pre-show cocktail for guests and media representatives accessorized with large-scale images of Italian frescoes.
The recognizable disco funk soundtrack was gone too. Instead, Armani opted for more classical twist- Wagner, Rachmaninov, Offenbach and glorious Ludovico Einaudi. The clothes, however, he did not change. The designer stayed loyal to smoky and sophisticated looks. The Fall/Winter Haute Couture Collection 2017/2018 included luxurious slim fit jackets held together by ceramic buttons over masculine pants finished in super-light silks. Everything veiled and nuanced in prints of petals, birds and stains; these images repeated in minutely sewn beads and plastic strips. All topped by knit Venetian Doges’ hats and face mesh. Ambiguous, mysterious and surprising.
“I found it all wonderful. The colors, the elegance and sense of grace,” said Naomi Watts, one of rare celebrities who had the opportunity to sit in the front row. A front row completely devoid of any influencers, unlike so many minor couture rivals. The most amazing moment as Armani’s all-black finale– a shocking decision from a designer known for the non-colors of mud, concrete and sand. Preciously attached lace, silk ribbons, fabric flowers or metallic buds seen on bare shouldered columns and slimline cocktails.
“One needs to take a little distance from the world. To think and create some mystery,” said Armani, after being enveloped by movie stars. Sophia Loren, Watts, Kate Winslet and Isabel Huppert (who caused a huge ruckus by arriving two looks into the show inside the Theatre de Chaillot) all squeezed up close to Giorgio. Their eyes were smiling in quiet appreciation.
Photo Credit: The Impression