Giorgio Armani has been doing this a long time, now. His refined taste, his enchanting disposition and his supreme knack for perfected tailoring precedes him. For his collection in Paris today, the 87-year-old personally fitted all 92 looks. As founder and designer, the house of Armani remains his creative wonderland, one known as much for its unsurpassed elegance as it is for its immaculate atelier-lead craftsmanship.
Pétillant was the word du jour for his fall winter 2022 Haute Couture collection – a term that refers to delicate glittering, to an effervescence. The kind that describes the perfect sparkling French wine, one that distills joy, romance and just a hint of intoxication. Suitable then, that this collection was also inspired by the centenary of fashion’s most lavish era. Forever favoured among designers for its lustrous savour faire, the nostalgia for 1920s sartorial culture is beginning to burgeon a complete high fashion revival.
Armani drew on his adoration for the decades of Deco with pieces executed for both profuse wearability and impressive presentation. He referenced Polish artist of the time Tamara de Lempicka known for her graphic, neoclassical portraits of high society, and mused her take on unapologetic feminine glamour. Evening gowns in shades of distinct Armani deep blue glimmered and shimmered under the warm lamp light of the Salle Pleyel, some with Lacroix-style bouffant centrepieces, some languid in bias-cut silks and others structured with the sensual swerve of velvet bustiers. Rich fuchsia was paired with Deco black in classic textures of velvet, silk and reams of layered tulle, each more fabulous than the next. Detail included be-jewelled seashell motifs, ribbon fasteners and elaborately sequinned flower schemes with a trompe l’oeil effect. Accessories were petite and finessed with equal levels of glitz – clutch bags with cascading crystal chains, geometric jewelled drop earrings, even sequinned beret barrettes fastened for dramatic effect.
Privé honours the label’s attention to timeless, classic couture, with Mr. Armani most forthright about maintaining utility within all his collections. Because he has always been about beautiful style, not just by interpretation but also by tangible construction.
Mr. Armani’s desire to present opulence on the Haute Couture runway in Paris is so wholeheartedly understandable, and to see him take to the stage at the end of the show in his signature suit and tie ignited a spirit of nostalgia we’ve likely all been craving. The Armani appreciation for classic, romantic dressing is so welcome given such discourse can often be overlooked for its nuanced modern comrades. Yet, to see iconic iterations of such pieces as the 1990’s Armani single breasted jacket, this time traced with clusters of pétillant blue, silver and black, is triumphant. A reminder that fashion has the unique ability to spark joy, fun and romance – especially when it’s covered in sequins.