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



 
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Milan: Puff Giorgio

Godfrey Deeny
February 19th, 2007 @ 11:17 AM

Giorgio Armani celebrated the latest opening of his celebrated globe trotting retrospective, and its debut in Milan, with a fall 2007 collection that was all about experimentation in volume, meeting extremity in decoration.

Before open-mouthed wows from both Tina Turner and Italian beauty Ornella Muti, Armani finished his collection with a blindingly bright column composed of Swarovski crystals so reflective they made the eyes squint.

The dazzling final dress, in sharp contrast to the designer who took his bow in all black jeans and T-Shirt, will be included in the final stop of his peripatetic exhibition, which debuted in New York’s Guggenheim back in 2000 and alighted in as distant locales as London’s Royal Academy and the Shanghai’s principal museum.

“It’s a great satisfaction to bring this home to Milan. But there is a tinge of sadness, since this is it’s last stop,” Armani told FWD.

Otherwise, the collection he staged Monday, the first day of major shows in the current Italian season, was focused on some energetic remodeling of his own canon of curvy yet restrained silhouettes.

Models, most of whom donned skullcaps and flat shoes, appeared in a succession of dirndl skirts and taut tops, a novel meeting of body consciousness and volume, that began strongly but was, ultimately, a tad hit and miss.

As ever, Giorgio showed a great collection of jackets, cut loosely for fall with iridescent finishes and made with some significantly puffed up shoulders and sleeves. The same ballooned up shoulders were used in a pair of great Fifties era swing coats finished with Obi-sized belts in black patent leather, which earned cheers from the audience of 600 in his show space.

Yet the most successful passages were the more sportswear elements like the hooded, but sleeveless, sleek black dress that inspired a burst of clapping from Turner, herself head to toe in black.

Though PETA have rarely interrupted Milan shows, Armani would have been an ideal visiting ground since this runway was bestrewn with what the program notes described as “ecological furs.” This meant boleros, micro capes and scarves in some devilishly well died and treated skins of less exotic mammals.

Taking his bow, the designer beamed out the largest smile we remember in eons we've seen from the reigning heavy weight champion of Italian fashion. Watching the preternaturally youthful Armani at that moment, one could only recall the luncheonette scene in When Harry Met Sally, where after Meg Ryan has her famous “orgasm” and a nearby eater remarks, “I’ll take whatever she’s having:” Whatever regime he’s own, blessed are they who will look as young as Giorgio when they reach his stage in life.

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