giorgio armani isn’t a fan of gucci’s theatrical excess
“I won't talk about severed heads." The 83-year-old fashion maestro discussed his preference for deep-rooted classicism over extravagant theatrical distractions.
"My fashion is not that of a theatre which lasts as long as a catwalk show, which serves only to create chatter and would be disconnected from what the client finds in my boutiques,” Armani explained after presenting his Giorgio Armani spring/summer 18 show. “I won't talk about severed heads, I have never played that game. We have to move and excite but without going overboard -- it’s too easy," the 83-year-old fashion maestro added. He didn’t name names but, like most of us, he still had Gucci’s headline-grabbing, visual effect-enhanced pluriverse on his mind.
Throughout Milan Fashion Week, show experiences have alternated between the old and the new, the familiar and the otherworldly, the expected and the unexpected, but the markedly different approaches have been no more obvious than between Alessandro Michele and Giorgio Armani. Thankfully, there’s room for both approaches and the lines that separate them can be blurred at times. OK, body parts were where we all expected them to be at all times but his youthful approach to tailoring, tinkering and embrace of logomania for Emporio Armani autumn/winter 18 reminded us that Armani isn't afraid to experiment with the signature sleek suit and astute branding that has seen him amass a global empire over the course of more than four decades at the top of the industry.
While Michele’s far-reaching encyclopaedic daydreams take us that bit deeper inside his carefully cultivated world, Armani grounds his vision in elevating the everyday. “I enjoy watching people, bringing into my world the spirit of what I see, processing and reinventing it,” the Emporio Armani show notes explained. “Today everything gets mixed up, rules have been turned upside down. That’s the freedom I wanted to capture in this collection,” Armani explained. This freedom saw him subvert dress codes as eveningwear archetypes were reimagined for the day, garments were mixed-and-matched in unexpected combinations -- rhinestone cowboy boots, teamed with fluid overcoats and short skirts were particularly playful -- and the EA branding popped up throughout. Armani and Michele might use radically different methods but both know how to create product their customers will covet.
Photography Mitchell Sams