To celebrate 40 years of success, the legendary designer is at the center of a retrospective in Milan, Armani Silos. The event included a historical fashion show featuring the most important collections of his career.
9 parts for 9 iconic moments. Armani has always been inspired by Asia. The first opus shows an Indian princess, covered by sparkles of diamonds. Armani elaborates his own dresses like real pieces of jewelry, designing according to the antique Indian model, waking up Indian palaces’ magic. She’s the wife of a Maharajah, discovering European fashion but still faithful to her traditions. Armani will always design classic dresses, they are his motto, but the various inspirations will shape their own identities. That first part presented the incredible work of art on embroidering these crystals, illuminating the woman.
The second chapter opens us the door to the art of modeling the fabric, how to drape the dress. Armani masters the work on silk, creating hyper structured silhouettes with however, some pure and clean lines. Simplicity is certainly the key to elegance, and the final pale green dress stunned us by its lightness, floating like a mermaid.
The third part would be called “Princess of China” if we would write a book about Armani’s sources of inspiration. Lamé and varnished fabrics imitate the effect of the lacquered ancient Chinese furniture. Imperial red mixes itself with reflects of a deep black, like Chinese ink. This Chinese queen stuns us by her attitude, a mix of orient and occident, as usually with Armani. Mix of cultures but unicity of behavior, this is another recipe for Armani’s rapid success. Then comes Japan, another Asiatic influencer. The severity of the strict lines rhymes with a multigenerational method: the art of making a kimono. Japanese are known for their rigor, well Armani transcripts this aspect into dresses with sharp cleavages, acute angles, strong cuts… She’s a new geisha, more modern than ever.
The fifth part consists of the Roaring Twenties, spent by rich occidental aristocrats in the European boroughs of Shanghai or Macau. Feathers, glamour, sparkles, sensuality culminate at that time as women play with their body, wearing nude colors, aiming to show their skin through effects on transparency though never vulgar. Exacerbated femininity rhymed in this collection with moral liberalization.
The other main parts of this lively exhibition show the high interest Armani is paying to in his shows, particularly with the plants: we have a Mother Nature, all dressed in degrees of greens, we also have the bamboo which results in a perfect combination of pattern, geometrical shapes and still, elegance. The talented designer hasn’t ceased to dazzle us with his genius, but, as he is getting older, the question at the end of these celebrations then stands: once he will retire (which is out of tune according to the Emperor), who will succeed him?