There is something truly unique about a Giorgio Armani show. It has something to do with the location, a theatre in the brand’s sprawling Via Borgonuovo 21 headquarters. Unlike the flashy and far-flung locales of most fashion shows, Armani’s runway presentations feel understated and intimate, a family affair. For Fall/Winter 2023 the runway was brimming with that sentiment. The runway was littered with silk sofa cushions, chosen to evoke the sense of entering a (particularly chic) living room.
As for the clothes, Armani, the grand patriarch of Italian fashion, revisited some of his best-known silhouettes and signatures, modernising them with subtle but fresh details. Take suiting, a classic Armani staple. These appeared in a fresh palette of cappuccinos and rosès, finished in sumptuous silk and lightweight wools. Trench coats were asymmetrical and affixed with a single, modern button. Models wore black berets, faux fur gilets, and silk neck scarves. Cashmere separates were dressed up with checked blazers and two-toned patent leather brogues. It was understated Italian glamour at its finest.
Eveningwear is always a calling card for Giorgio Armani, and F/W ’23 was packed full of strong after-dark fodder. Dresses draped elegantly across the body, some evoking the louche effortlessness of a pair of silk pyjamas. Pieces are designed, per the show’s notes, to “follow the body and it’s movements”. In one look, an oversized silk shawl with a glamorous tassel trim was pinned at the shoulder and worn like an elegant kaftan over trousers. Strapless velvet numbers were styled with opera gloves (a new season staple) and ’20s-style beaded flapper hats. Slouchy velvet trousers were low-slung and styled with little vests, embellished with sequin floral motifs. A recurring theme in the Armani universe, the flower represents “a synthesis of grace, delicacy, and discretion,” said the show notes.
The show finished with a model parading down the runway, a makeup mirror in hand, shamelessly touching up her face as she walked. Was it an homage to Rihanna at the Superbowl? Not quite. It was a symbolic end to a collection that was called Cipria, Italian for ‘face powder’. It was a narrative that tied to the show’s setting: the lounge room, peeking behind the curtain at elegant women as they put themselves together. Armani has dressed those elegant women for the better part of half a century and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.