#SuzyMFW: Armani: Rhapsody In Blue
While Armani (synonymous with dressing Academy Award nominees) was showing his Giorgio collection in Milan, Glenn Close – his loyal fan – was celebrating at the Giorgio Armani boutique on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. It was all part of the exclusive Oscar 2019 festivities for her best actress nomination in 'The Wife'. Here, dressed in Giorgio Armani, she poses with the film's director, Björn RungeGiorgio Armani
Graceful, peaceful – and I wanted to show it here,” said Giorgio Armani, after taking a walk and a final bow down the low runway in his Silos, the first time he has staged the show in the living museum opposite his Milan headquarters.
‘Rhapsody in Blue’ was the name of the show, and the title could not have seemed more relevant, as models of both sexes walked the runway in slim and sporty clothes that were edged in blue: perhaps a trim on the edge of a jacket leading down to trousers that spread gently at the thighs like riding breeches.
The blue shading was much more prevalent for women than for men, who filled the show with those famous body-tracing suits. Double-breasted jackets and skinny trousers, they were deliberately sober compared to the slightly quirkier women’s silhouette.
The result was absolutely and indisputably Armani: in its silhouettes, in its fabrics, as when a female model swung a velvet jacket across herself like a cloak. The men were sexier in their body-traced suits. The women were whimsical: a squishy beret here, a chunky necklace or bags gathered into a squashed shape there.
Over the years, the designer has liquidised his signature look with soft fabrics, such as satin and velvet. For the autumn/winter 2019 season, perhaps with the Oscars in mind, silvered stripes appear red on the jackets and a cascade of mirrored necklaces gleamed at the front.
What is the essence of Armani style? It can best be described as an absolute lack of vulgarity, and that in a world that dotes on body focus and bling. For men, it is easy to offer a puffer jacket (blue, of course!) over taught sweater and light trousers. Casual effects for women mean short, zippered jackets paired with velvet trousers.
It was all a clear message from the designer: in this era of millennials’ new sensitivity to sexual fluidity, he stands for sexual definition, but oh-so softly. For an example, Armani showed a female puffer coat, sporty, but its surface was worked with rows of super-soft protuberances. A blue top and trousers were patterned like waves of water. Silk and velvet, first sporty then, later, puffy and glamorous, outshone the men’s clothes, but they looked contemporary,
This show was a long, but beautiful, master class in modern elegance. There were no constrictions, none of the newly fashionable couture puffed-up shapes. Even the Oscar-ready outfits at the close of the show were slender columns of velvet, satin, and lace with dense decoration.
The show was an exercise in serene beauty. And the audience, clapping wildly, was surely saying ‘Amen’ – or perhaps that should be ‘Armani’ – to all that.
Emporio Armani: a study in contrasts
The scarlet, burnt umber and newly fashionable orange at the Emporio Armani show was an exercise in colour – and in energy. The models in their tailored jackets over brief skirts, or black sweaters paired with scarlet satin shorts, were all blowing a bugle for youth.
Similar shapes, patterned with digitally designed florals, or shown as sweater-and-pants, were all parts of a show made to be seen in vibrant motion. The long, flat-level runway made the show seem sporty, but cute, with legs, mostly seen below the short skirts or inside skinny trousers.
This was an example of Armani light: playful and easy. But the core was, as ever, his belief in dressing women for work and play. The collection could have taken as its motto: start them young!