Giorgio Armani: Maquillage et mode
Giorgio Armani named his latest signature show 'Cipria', meaning make up in Italian, and the result was a collection presented Sunday in Milan that was as subtle and sensitive as the name implies.
An intimate presentation staged twice for 200 people Sunday afternoon inside the designer’s custom-made theatre in his historic palazzo at Via Borgonuovo 21.
Like the act of maquillage, this was a sensitive show. The opening backdrop featured three models posed on a chaise longue with soft golden cushions.
Before the cast began walking along the faux-marble floor, attired in a delicate array of clothes: pajama suits, enveloping shawls, soft trousers and elongated jackets, and dresses.
The opening trio in an elongated silk shirt with palazzo pants in tortilla brown; a caramel pants suits cut with a bomber jacket; or slim pants with billowing smock in almond. All referencing hues of make-up.
For evening, the dominant colors were powder pink and black – seen in pink wool bouclé dressing gowns, pleated sheathes, satin jumpsuits and tuxedos. Black for velvet pants, pinstripe velvet jackets and jumpsuits. The cast wore gamine berets or fringed shawls and even carried fringed bags.
It was classical Armani, but with a softer, hyper feminine touch, and a Mandarin influence. Along with a stylized flower motif adding a further graceful note.
In a busy week for the designer, Giorgio also staged a kicky Emporio Armani collection, and unveiled a brilliant new exhibition 'Guy Bourdin: Storyteller inside Armani/Silos', his art foundation.
“This exhibition is further confirmation of my intention to make Armani/Silos a center of contemporary photography culture, embracing everything related to the Armani world as well as things that couldn’t be further from it,” explained Armani.
A finely curated expo on the great French photographer featuring 100 photos, some of which uncannily presaged Armani’s signature collection. One 1986 shoot for French Vogue featured a model admiring herself in a makeup kit, as she poses on a rocky shore. Another surrealist Bourdin photo focused on a single eye with similar makeup, captured among a dozen damp black umbrellas.
Though his busiest day was Sunday with his signature show, whose last look was a model casually strolling onto the catwalk and making up her cheeks.
These days, it’s de rigueur to greet an Armani ovation with a standing ovation, a marque of respect for a remarkable career. His front row the first to rise, led by actresses Isabelle Huppert, Nafessa Williams and Laura Haddock; Italian senator Liliana Segre; singer Ornella Vanoni; Chinese model Lela Wang and Kyra Kennedy, grand daughter of Robert Kennedy.
And after this touching display, Giorgio deserved every clap and applause. Those of us who knew Armani in his pomp as the obsessive perfectionist building his empire cannot help noticing his frailness these days. Yet his creative fire still burns brightly.