In between his two Giorgio Armani shows, the designer appeared in top form, and the conversation inevitably veered toward the Academy Awards, held the evening before. “[Leonardo] Di Caprio deserves it,” he said referring to the Best Actor in a Leading Role victory. “Thank goodness he was wearing Armani. Also Cate Blanchett was not half bad,” he said with a grin. The two actors are house loyalists, as are Naomi Watts and Russell Crowe, who were also wearing Armani designs. It is understood the designer backstage sent “a kiss and congratulations” to DiCaprio before his first show on Monday morning.

Armani also took the opportunity to elaborate on a pet peeve. Asked by one reporter for his views on Milan Fashion Week, which drew to a close on Monday, the designer lamented a lack of “clearly emphasized ideas. There were many beautiful things, but no new messages. It was a mix that women like, but nobody took a risk. You will allow me to say that I had the courage to sweep everything away by doing an all-black collection. I understand it’s difficult to remove external inputs from editors. Ideas can be impaired by outside influence.”

The designer continued, saying that he wished he had seen “10 precise inputs for direction. This is not a negative judgment, I know it’s difficult today to see good results, with the Internet [and other issues]….You should pay attention to the market to get practical results but we should not be dominated by the market or dictated by the media. We hear the Chinese want flowers, so everyone goes out and does flowers. These should merely be suggestions.”

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