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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



.

Giorgio Armani Looking Ever More Easterly

Godfrey Deeny
February 27th, 2010 @ 2:16 PM - Milan

Recession? What recession? That was the mood at Giorgio Armani's latest runway show Saturday, Feb. 27, in Milan, when Italy's most famous designer staged an Asian-tinted show before the industry's top critics and editors and a team of his executives buoyed by their booming business in China.

Armani has frequently included Asian imagery and ideas in his collections before, one season Japanese, and now Chinese, and consumers have always been huge fans. But the link has rarely been more apparent than in this fall 2010 collection, which reached its climax on the designer's Perspex catwalk, lit from underneath in a bright signature Chinese red.

That color rippled through this collection, which the designer christened "Uptown Girl," and whose most elegant moment was a pair of young ladies in pink cocktail dresses with Chinese abstract paisley embroidered motifs, a brilliant bridge between East and West.

Yet, his opener was a foursome of dashing figures in hyper luxe emerald green, swirling cloak dresses and coats with elaborate collars that had all the movie star glory one expects from Armani.

Like the packed audience of 1,000 in Armani's high-tech show space, his front row, including actor Clive Owen, actress Ashley Green and Los Angeles stylist Rachel Zoe, heartily applauded his red and black combos of flippy skirts and organza jackets. Armani cut them with a bigger shoulder this season, part of a Milan trend for a more defined silhouette.

Most looks were topped by a series of miniature black felt skull caps with strips of felt falling over the brows, all of which seemed rather 1930s Shanghai, and right in step with this haute glam show as Armani leads the European designer brand into China. By the end of this year, he will have a total of 150 boutiques in China, from his own signature flagships, and Emporio Armani stores to shops in luxury malls for Armani Jeans.

At an age when most men are well into retirement, septuagenarian Armani keeps hustling along with remarkable energy. If anyone says older designers cannot come up with new tricks, then suggest they check out the latest Emporio Armani collection, a clever twist on the master's oeuvre.

Call it dimpled volume, because that's what the first half of this fall 2010 junior Emporio Armani collection, shown Friday, Feb. 26, in Milan, was all about.

The designer mixed up his own historic style, based on the black and white movies of Hollywood's Golden Age in the 1930s, with futurist elements like high-tech finishes and big plastic costume jewelry.

If Armani has his way, and he remains the best selling Italian designer in terms of high fashion, then women will dress color coordinated - one look had watch, volume mini skirt and handbag all in the same mustard seed hue.

"I wanted new volumes and a new way of dressing for today," Armani said, seconds after taking his bow and reveling in the applause at an age when most of his contemporaries are at home in slippers, watching TV.

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