In Milan, Giorgio Armani introduced us to a new skirt/trouser hybrid happening. Call it the Skouser, quite simply a wrap-around skirt layered over a pair of slim-fitting trousers, except it wasn’t layered, it was entirely made up of one piece, with the front hemline of the skirt actually morphing into the trouser leg. It was a new one on us, and quite possibly the world.
There were plenty of these Skousers, in all colours – from pastels to black – and they were partnered with everything from furry jackets, to feminine fluttery blouses, and softest funnel-neck flared sleeved sweaters, one, in pretty sea foam proving that they’re nothing if not versatile. Tuxedo trousers and a black velvet dinner suit were other highlights.
Elsewhere for glittering nights, Armani’s clientele will be looking to one of those boxy organza evening jackets decorated in a colourful mosaic of sequins, and for more formal events, the designer rounded off the collection with a finale of prom dresses boasting fanned boned bustiers, grounded in black patent Chelsea boots for contemporary edge. What to wear over?
Armani suggests a silk shawl streaming in shaggy wool fringing, or, like the last exit here today, a painterly watercolour fur coat.
As Armani enters its 40th anniversary year, it felt fitting that this couture presentation would celebrate the ideas that have been fundamental to the designer during his four decades in luxury.
And so Giorgio Armani looked to the orient – with bamboo printed in jackets and appliqued onto dresses glazed with a veil of shimmering beadwork, obi belts in lavish satin, and a muted colour palette of greys, blue and sage green. “Nature seen through culture,” the notes described. Similarly, earlier in the day, Karl Lagerfeld had invited us into his Chanel paper foliage jungle.
With a foot now into awards season, lavish feather dresses made for especially standout pieces – no doubt soon to swap the catwalk for the red carpet, where they’ll fit in a treat. In a world where fashion moves forward in the blink of an eye, it’s good to sometimes be reminded that true glamour never goes out of fashion.
THE money shot at this morning’s Giorgio Armani show was the finale look: a shimmering, shining bejewelled being complete with a bob of beads. She encapsulated the glamour of Armani and the designer’s inspiration this season: the sea, the sand and the landscapes they shape.
He started proceedings with a short film directed by the Oscar-winning Paolo Sorrentino and in it, we saw a mystery couple lying on the beach, hand in hand, with only rope to protect their modesty. Had they come from the deep blue sea? Were they from this world of Armani that Sorrentino was introducing? Were they simply on a nice beach day out?
Regardless, when we did get into that Armani water world, the designer took his theme and ran with it – to create multiple dresses that riffed on jellyfish proportions, shapes and movement. Pronounced short skirts splayed over sheer trousers (still an idea that might need some time to catch on) to perfectly replicate the entity in clothes. Fringes trailed from long skirts to reincarnate fish tails and scales and trousers came with pleats that looked like sand ripples – just as though the tide had come in.
The trousers here were mostly cropped and tapered, jackets languid and loose – a series of white suits were particularly beautiful – and shoes flat throughout. This style note helped to keep the collection feeling fresh and youthful too – those glistening dresses somehow seeming less obvious as obligatory eveningwear.
Armani isn’t the only designer diving deep this season – Philipp Plein made his own splash in Milan last night while back in London Ryan Lo took the plunge in his own irreverent way.
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