Moved by the tragic events in Japan unleashed by the earthquake last March, Giorgio Armani dedicates his Privé couture collection to Japan.
After paying homage to the land of the orange curtain with his last resort collection, Giorgio Armani has taken his power of Haute Couture over to Japan – a land that as of late, and this is no secret to anyone not living under a rock, could you a bit of levity – even if it comes in the guise of hard to match glamour.
Fashion, and especially Haute Couture, it must be noted, is an undoubted and difficult art form, so for Mr. Armani to dedicate his fall/winter 2011 Couture show to the land that has so openly embraced his work for decades now, is more emotionally based than aesthetically propelled. And that is perhaps the secret ingredient to the tour-de-force that was the latest Armani Prive show. Where the notion of a Japanese-centric collection in the hands of a less mature designer could so very easily fall into the category of reckless bombast, Mr. Armani sent down an equally elegant and subtle army of ladies who were not inflexibly Japanese, but moreso tinged in Japan. It’s easy when trying to pull-off ‘Geisha’ to steer into a saccharine, overly sentimental direction, but luckily enough for Armani fans, that wasn’t the case. This was certainly one of the strongest Couture showings in the Armani Prive repertoire since its debut six
There were so many delicate and exceptionally beautiful touches that abounded on the catwalk – expressions that have been touched upon before in this house – like the severe dissections in dresses that reveal altogether new treasures underneath, be it a hidden print or brocade – that seemed perfected this time around. Armani loves a good bisection, but the exercises in that trope were much more subdued here. Take the symmetrical slits at the hem of Bianca Balti’s skirt that gave the look – as she walked – an almost siren-like flourish. Another retrial here was the heavy use of black. The last Emporio Armani show was a veritable parade of impenetrable black garments, but here, the textures were naturally elevated – like the black bugle beads (these same beads would come out at the end of the show in a much more noticeable shade of dusty orange) that graced an obilike belt on a plunge leather top. Not everything worked – that strange scalloped bolero towards the end comes to mind – but overall, it was a truly endearing and artfully crafted gesture to Japan that is bound to become synonymous with the importance and lasting-power of the art of Couture.