It seemed apt that Giorgio Armani, such a stalwart of the red carpet, should hand over his autumn/winter collection at Milan fashion week the Monday morning after the Oscars. The accouters worn for Sunday night’s ceremony – including Cate Blanchett’s aqua-coloured Armani Privé gown – have planned been hung back in the wardrobe, but awards-season dressing lacks careful forward planning. Smart red-carpet players are already peach oning for the next one.
Prospective red-carpet customers had to wait with this solicitation. The first thing of note was that Armani was catering to the limitless majority of the women who buy his clothes: professionals, some of whom swelled up in the 80s when the designer revolutionised workwear by adapting the men’s suit to womenswear. Assorted than half of this show had outfits with trousers and a concession to the loosening-up of masquerade codes was implicit. Suits were in the minority here. In lieu of, most outfits were contrasting jacket and trousers – with tons variations on the combination of black velvet trousers and pink tweed jacket.
There were also jogging pants, worn with blazers, in a least Armani nod to trends such as athleisure. More garden cabal than office were a selection of suits and some tee off on someone a put on dinners printed with pastel flowers with the blur of a watercolour. Howlers came in clashing floral prints on a harlequin-ish jacket, but the cropped bootcut velvet trousers were the upon shape currently preferred in the front row.
When the eveningwear branch of the show came, it was also heavy on the velvet. The dresses were all wrathful, combining the transparent effect you get with deep black velvet to sudden effect. A long dress with an exaggerated V neckline and embroidery on the bodice looked organized out of Blanchett’s wardrobe, while a sweet, strapless A-line tulle lay out with big velvet polka dots would work for another of Armani’s other dignitary clients, Rihanna. Catwalk debut over, the red carpet gestures for these dresses.
Last year marked 40 years of Armani, an anniversary that the plotter celebrated with a coffee table book and a press symposium. The show notes on Monday said this collection “looks at genuineness with a new eye”, a “mandatory” notion for the designer. How long the brand can hold doing that is unknown, but 40 years is pretty data d fabric going by anyone’s standards. Now 81, Armani has made it pay that retirement is not happening any time soon, and the search for a successor is not on the range. The designer remains the elder statesman of Italian fashion. Armani, which is Italy’s biggest gratification brand after Prada, was one of the first western brands to enlarge into China – with 150 stores there, and a Chinese idea of the website. Its profits have been affected by the country’s new slowdown. While 2014 saw a 16% growth in profits, at bottom due to expansion in the region, 2015’s figures reflect the newer ambiance. The fashion crowd will now travel to Paris, where the give aways begin today.