#SuzyMFW Giorgio Armani: The Essence Of Colour
Flowers that reflect women,” said Giorgio Armani about his summer 2019 collection, as he followed the models in their pale or colourful outfits onto the traditional line-up on the runway.
The blue of faded jeans, the palest of spring lilac, or pallid shades suggesting water lilies all had an aura of the classic gentlewoman. But otherwise, the designs were practical and even manly, with models striding out in casual tailored clothes saying that these women meant business.
Armani, who started his long fashion career with the ‘non-colour’ beige, is particularly good at blending shades to the body. Even if the models might be of different ethnicities, the abstract flowers and painterly patterns flowed into an overall effect of uniformly pretty, strong women.
He called the collection ‘La Forma del Colore’ – the name of a book by Lorenzo Mattotti about all possible forms of colour. The curving lines of the invitation, in silver punctuated with pink, suggested a precise geometrical vision of colour.
The quiet shades became bolder as the show progressed, pale pink picking up strength to approach fuchsia for a long skirt with a frill-neck top. In the same spirit, rain-washed blue became vivid turquoise with perhaps mauve smudged in. These painterly effects were enhanced for graceful summer dresses by fabrics that had a transparency and a slight sheen. Accessories too started pale but then became more vibrant.
Armani has, as a designer, always positioned himself as someone who wanted to help and support his clients, making them comfortable and free for a long stride. Although there may have been some higher or even awkward heels for the walk down the long runway, the near-weightless clothes in movement still seemed like paintings of light on water in an ode to Claude Monet and the French Impressionist movement.
I wondered where the inspiration had come from for these subtle, gentle clothes – but then I crossed over to the gallery Armani/Silos, where photographer Sarah Moon has a show called ‘From One Season to Another’. Her misty figures, often seen as if through a veil, give a tranquil and delicate vision of women. A relatively recent image from 2010 called ‘The Red Dress’ has the grace of a dancer seen out of the spotlight.
It is always hard to read the language of inspiration. But Armani gave the impression that art had been at the forefront of his fashion vision.