Armani Keeps Surprising

“Today, you can see Giorgio Armani’s iconic style almost everywhere. I’m very happy and proud that my aesthetic has become part of everyone’s lifestyle, but I feel that the real duty for a designer like me is to keep surprising the audience and the customers with something new and exciting that you would never expect,” stated the designer at the press conference before his pre-Fall 2020/21 show hosted in his Armani Teatro in Milano. “The collection is named ‘Transformism’ because it’s all about a woman who changes her style in relation to her feelings. Of course, you will see all my codes, but she disrupted them in an amusing way in order to add lightness to her look and make them lighter. It will be a game of subtle changes that will affect the aesthetic with important differences.

It was a real woman’s story – every single look would have been perfect on the street. No crazy fashion extravaganzas, but real clothes. Even Armani ironically clarified that this is a pre-Fall collection rather than a main one, and “it will be in the stores and, hopefully, exit from them as fast as possible” because of its inherent success. In the show, there were mainly women (80 versus only 10 men’s look), although the gender wardrobe crossing was very clear. The waistline was very important: there were a lot of masculine spencer jackets emphasized by high-waisted trousers with a mid-thirties or forties flair. And very girlish little black dresses in every silhouette, from the puffed short sleeves to the pleated looks to the chemisiers which showed a glimpse of leg in order to surprise while never being too lecherous. The Armani signature oriental references popped up here and there: “The Eastern aesthetic is an endless source of references, not only for me,” he explained. “It’s a world that makes us fly with the imagination, and it’s very different from our Western culture. But I didn’t focus on one nation in particular; I just got the flair by adapting it with my state of mind, from embroideries to patterns, from shapes to fabrics.” The evening part is, as usual, a delicate sparkling galore with cascades of paillettes and crystals, along with precious silks for the long skirts and gowns. The palette is very simple, yet sharp: red, black, and champagne, all of which were shown mixed together or in striking plain colour looks.

The show was not the only Armani event of the day. In front of the Teatro, the Armani Silos, the exhibition space which the designer opened in 2015, hosted the opening of the new exhibition “Accenti di stile” that recalled, with approximately 830 pieces, all the accessory production of his over 40-year career. “The look of my ideal woman has always been imagined with accessories, even before this boom of bags and shoes started. For me, it was part of her style.” That’s why he personally curated the exhibition. The showcase really pinpointed the timeless style of the Milanese designer – the setting is divided by colours and topics, not by years of production, so the mix winds along his favourite themes from ethnic to animalier, from urban to classic, from colour block to evening and bright. “I believe that clothes must be worn, not closed in a museum, and fashion doesn’t belong to static places exactly for the intrinsic meaning of the word. That’s why I see the museum as something dynamic and movable. It doesn’t need to stay forever still; it needs to evolve. This is how I conceived this institution,” explained the designer.

Armani is really pushing his accessory world, not just because this is the market trend of the moment, but mostly because of diversification: “as with every big company, we are developing different sectors.” One example? The “La Prima” bag, first launched by them 25 years ago and relaunched last September, is doing very well in the stores as the design is still cool today. When you talk about accessories, jewelry is fully part of this, and the debut of “Alta Gioielleria Giorgio Armani,” the precious line of ornamental jewelry, is another important step in this direction. The collection is divided into three sections. The “Borgonuovo” (from the name of the street on which the company’s headquarters is situated) played with variations of the logo of the brand using pavées of diamonds and semi-precious stones and introducing an exclusive gold color which is not the classic yellow or pink, but something that looks like the iconic Armani “greige.” The “Sì” part presented a sharp contrast of colours with the shapes inspired by flowers, as well as a mix of diamond and gold with black onyx. The “Firmamento” (Italian for “the heavens”) is an endless sparkling of diamonds and pavées in the shapes of stars and crescent moons. The collection goes along with Armani Privé, launched for Haute Couture in Paris, and is made up of only unique pieces which are performing very well. All available in Giorgio Armani selected stores (Milano, Roma, Paris, London, Frankfurt, New York, Beverly Hills, Chater House in Hong Kong, and Ginza) since November.

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