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Armani Honored at Tokyo Exhibition

TOKYO — Giorgio Armani arrived here for the first time in eight years in the season of cherry blossoms and gentle breezes.<BR><BR>Armani appeared for the opening last Saturday of an exhibition that gives a thematic look at the impact of his...

TOKYO — Giorgio Armani arrived here for the first time in eight years in the season of cherry blossoms and gentle breezes.

Armani appeared for the opening last Saturday of an exhibition that gives a thematic look at the impact of his designs on contemporary culture and his pioneering involvement in cinema.

“I love Tokyo,’’ he said during a news conference at Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. “It’s a creative and fashionable city.”

The exhibition, organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in cooperation with the Mori Art Museum, will end on June 9. It features more than 400 garments along with original sketches and audiovisual presentations. Originally presented at New York’s Guggenheim Museum in 2000 and shown at the Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain in 2001, the Armani exhibition is on a new five-venue tour.

It was presented at the Neue Nationalgalarie in Berlin and the Royal Academy of Arts’ Burlington Gardens space in London in 2003, and at the National Museum of Roman Antiques at the Baths of Diocletian in Rome last year. The Mori Art Museum’s presentation in Tokyo is the first stop in Asia.  The show goes next to Shanghai. 

“[In Tokyo] this event will be reborn as a new exhibition,” Armani said. 

The show has seven thematic sections: Palette and Structure; Minimalism; Interpretations of the Feminine; East and West; Armani and the Entertainment Industry; Black and White, and Light and Translucency. Robert Wilson designed the installation, as he has for the past venues. Through a dramatic combination of architectural elements, customized mannequins, projections, light and music, Wilson created a site-specific installation for the Mori Arts Center gallery spaces. 

The exhibition includes clothes from the various periods of the designer’s career, from the late Seventies when he began to achieve prominence, up to his most recent designs for fall 2004. 

In addition, Armani presided over the opening of an Armani Casa outlet in the Omote Sando district — the shop occupies a part of a multibrand store “hhstyle.com/casa” — as well as a fashion show attended by more than 1,000 people. He also received the Designer of the Year Award from the Japan Fashion Editors Club .

This story first appeared in the April 8, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

John Hooks, president of Armani Japan and director of group commercial and marketing of Giorgio Armani SpA, said the designer intends to place more emphasis on accessories and expand that category worldwide.