It may have been hard to tell at first, but this show was a moment of reflection for Giorgio Armani: After 20 years, he took the show back to his original theater at 11 Via Borgonuovo, an underground space at his storied headquarter where he showed his collections every season until he opened the new Tadao Ando-designed theater across town in 2001.
But it wasn’t just the return after two decades that called for contemplation, it was everything — the backdrop film of a calm sea and a sky easing from bright blue to pink and orange as this soft, languid collection moved down the runway to a soundtrack of soulful Italian pop from the ’60s and ’70s by singers including Loredana Berté and Lucio Battisti.
“I adore that music,” Armani said after the show. “You should have seen the models backstage — they were going crazy for it. They just loved it. And it reminded me of my early years in business.”
It’s no wonder the models were smiling as they breezed down the catwalk in fluid silk trousers paired with collarless jackets or blazers and sheer blouses in fuchsia or marine blue with little ribbons tumbling down the back, or with ruffles at the front.
There was a rippling lightness to so much of this collection, which wrapped with a lineup of floaty tulle dresses dotted here and there with sparkles like droplets of sea water.
It didn’t always work: some of the sheer skirts gathered around the ankles, making for awkward walking, while the bright pink jackets, some with a pink flower pattern, were too bright and bold and didn’t chime with the delicate pieces in this collection.
Armani said that with the sea, the music and the light touch of the collection, he wanted to telegraph desire, “of wanting to love and be loved; of wanting to revisit old relationships.”
And not just human ones, either. “It’s a moment to be thinking about saving our planet — and ourselves,” the designer said.