Taking a breather from futuristic experiments and far-flung multicultural references, Giorgio Armani went back to terra firma — Thirties glamour — and delivered one of his strongest Privé collections in recent seasons.
Couture may be for the 0.001 percent, but the Italian designer wants to win over that entire fortunate fraction. “This collection is to please all women, not just five out of 10,” he said backstage, tugging over slender models who looked like they had slithered off Erté’s sketch pad (or the silver screen), each with a puff of black egret feathers caught on a slim choker.
Although the jaw-length sweep of hair occasionally brought Marlene Dietrich to mind, the clothes had contemporary airs and the pantsuits Armani paraded were 100 percent his: The pants were cut pajama-loose, while the streamlined jackets fell from pronounced yet rounded shoulders.”
Armani also trotted out a few jackets elongated to fingertip length, a pleasing proportion echoed in a lacy slipdress over loose trousers. His commitment to pants extended to a knockout evening jumpsuit with delicate spaghetti straps and ever-widening bands of black sequins.
Armani named his collection “Nude” for the pale makeup colors he employed for daywear, and the gossamer fabrics scattered with vaguely Deco embroideries or filmy metallic lace for night.
The delicate eveningwear was unapologetically pretty. Armani may have orchestrated the tenderest spectacle of the week as his barely there gowns, in tiered lace or stiff crinoline dusted with crystals, drifted by to a swelling soundtrack of Mahler symphonies. Maestro, indeed.