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Armani: a sense of freedom and the resistance to fleeting drifts in the industry

Giorgio Armani’s long-standing bond with Milan dates back to the Eighties, when the designer first moved to the city to pursue his professional endeavors. «Couture is rooted in the fashion industry» said Mr. Armani in his show notes. «It represents the pinnacle of sartorial skill, but is a world available only to very few. Today through the democracy of the Internet, we are able to offer a front row seat to everyone». The show was staged in a digital version mirroring the neoclassical décor in the salons of the XVIII century building in Via Borgonuovo. The interiors and the grand staircase were designed by Swiss architect Luigi Canonica, while the frescoes in the grand salons include the allegorical scene by Italian neoclassical painter Andrea Appiani. The palace reveals some opulence in line with the language of haute couture the designer used to interpret the city he loves. Models walked down a mirror-lined gallery: aquarelle layers of beaded organza, velvet and tulle drift through the historical palace – fifty looks gradually moving from daywear to evening dresses, bolstering the color palette along the way.

Starting from a pearl-gray shimmering tweed jacket and trousers embroidered with an Art Deco design, Mr. Armani presented sharply tailored suits, along with pastel tulle capes which added an ethereal allure to evening gowns. Creations for the designer are built on an independent method, which results in the search for an equilibrium among light, shape, color and volume; jackets designed on the body, allover crystal-covered, in twinkling geometric embroidery, with peaked velvet shoulders. Velvet is employed for bustier evening dresses with geometric necklines as well as in the sleek high-waisted black pants which together with fluid trousers play with the transparency. Sinuous silhouette, ballgowns and bright colored hues added a sense of optimism: fabrics, such as lamé with gold-gray reflections, satin and organza for jabots around the neck, along with tulle and washed silk were in contrast to the masculine cuts of pinstripes. The collar details were in line with the couture overhaul: sculpted from crinoline flounces, twisted in satin blooms, pleated into taffeta flourishes – three dimensional decorations transformed a velvet tunic into a piece of art.

The symbolic shades of the Italian house. Classical neutrals, a pastel rainbow with a touch of cobalt; magenta red and aqua green echoed the delicacy of the looks, together with sapphire blue and greige – from an autumnal glow on summer lightness. «Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered» it’s a quite celebrated quote by Mr. Armani. Giorgio Armani has chosen to dedicate the collection to his adoptive city, bringing Haute Couture back to Milan after years of showing in Paris. Since 1975 when the brand was founded, Mr. Armani aimed to blend the old with the new. The Klein blue ball gown that closed the digital show was crafted from 130 meters of tulle, then ruffled and ironed to produce the illusion of corteccia – tree bark. Culture and tradition in respect of the environment – this consciousness made the collection In Omaggio a Milano a reminder of the symbols of nature. The label is known for the principles guiding its actions that create a system capable of enduring through time. «The philosophy underpinning my brand has always been sustainability: the question of ethics even comes before strategy» said once Armani. «The future of generations to come depends on the choices of today».

Over the years haute couture became a place where the designer’s imagination met skillful artisanal crafting; Armani Privé collection displayed classic suiting reimaged in a modern philosophy: shimmering metallic blazers with pagoda shoulders, greige cropped jackets with posies blooming near the neck, along with midnight-blue velvet evening jackets with ruffles. Worn with nothing underneath. From paper to garments, Armani, in the early years of his career brought his ideas to life sketching on a black background, even directly on fabric with stitched pieces of sample textiles, and as the time went by the sketch has always been the core of the creative process. The label’s evolution reflected all the changes in society starting from the Seventies where people could no longer afford to wear couture clothing but at the same time wanted to construct a distinctive image for themselves. 

Both in womenswear and menswear Armani’s stylistic development relied on a design conceived to enhance the personality of the person who wore his creations. Since 1976 when Mr. Armani presented the first unstructured jackets for men – marking a departure from the straitjacketed men in the 1960’s. He opened an alternative approach to tailoring, a synthesis between formal wear and loose, offering sensual hints of the body beneath in a constant study of the human body, along with a focus on the social and cultural dimension we live in. Armani took a job at the Milan department store La Rinascente, after having spent two years at the medical university. He worked as an assistant photographer before accepting a promotion to its style office where he bought and exhibited various products from Japan, India, U.S, that helped him to be introduced to foreign cultures. With an eye on the ongoing international evolution, Giorgio Armani chose Milan to live and work, founding his namesake over forty years ago – nowadays with his Omaggio a Milano collection he celebrates the city he calls home.


Giorgio Armani unveiled Armani Privé Spring Summer 2021 Haute Couture collection dedicated to the city of Milan. Exploring the desire for perfection and the designer’ sense of freedom together with the rigor of tradition, the collection was presented for the very first time at Palazzo Orsini, the heart of the atelier, where clothes are born and take shape. 

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

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check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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