Emporio Armani celebrates 40th anniversary; Etro hip-hops its classics
The key fashion moment of Milan Fashion Week so far was the 40th anniversary Emporio Armani show on Thursday, a rich and varied collection that was followed by a brand retrospective opening in Armani Silos.
Emporio Armani celebrated his 40th anniversary on Thursday, with a spring 2022 show bristling with ideas and a retrospective in the designer’s personal art gallery, in the key fashion moment of Milan Fashion Week so far.
The show contained multiple references to the Emporio codes – from the non-colors to deconstructed tailoring – yet there was plenty new in terms of the succinct and sophisticated draping and a fresh, soft neon-colored palette.
In a generous gesture, Armani took his bow with his key designers in Emporio, his niece Silvana – who shares Giorgio’s razor sharp jawline and piercing eyes – and his right-hand man Leo Dell’Orco.
A huge wave of applause washing over the Tadao Ando-designed auditorium, even if strict social distancing meant there was barely one-third the normal audience of 700.
“To be honest, when I saw these young models looking all so well as they were about to enter the catwalk it did make me feel proud,” Armani told a dozen Italian TV reporters, who crowded around him after the first of two shows.
He opened with jaunty saddle-stitched suits and windowpane fine wool jackets for women and haute hobo patch-work jackets for men. His jackets were snug and concise in dimpled linen and his fatigue pants were languid and nipped at the ankle.
The genius of Emporio is that this brand invented a method for a younger generation to acquire and appreciate designer fashion and democratic prices. And this collection was no exception.
Armani cut flawless chiffon cocktails in his non-colors of cement and lichen; and dazzled with rouched and rolled shantung Grecian goddess dresses in violet and turquoise cut well up the thigh. Breaking new ground, he sent out beautiful silk prints of ancient maps, Asian petals and tattoos.
Looking back, he recalled how he came up with the Emporio logo, after his founding partner, the late Sergio Galeotti, called and asked him to come up with a “Lacoste,” referring to the French brand’s crocodile logo. Armani’s response was devised with the famed Emporio eagle, “because they soar high in the sky with no boundaries.”
Post-show, the designer inaugurated a slickly prepared retrospective of his Emporio baby, called 'The Way We Are', with scores of looks culled from all four decades staged inside Armani Silos, his own personal museum.
Campaigns by such photo greats as Nan Goldin, Michel Comte, Aldo Fallai, Gilbert & George, Steven Klein, David LaChapelle, Peter Lindbergh, Roxanne Lowit, Steven Meisel and Max Vadukul crowded the walls.
Banks of images recalled all Emporio’s famed sporting model ambassadors – David Beckham, Cristiano Roland and Rafael Nadal. Speaking of which, the giant Emporio Armani sign that greets all travelers when they land in Milan airport Linate, still remains today the single most defining advertisement of Italian fashion anywhere.
Not bad going to a young man who quit medical school and toiled as a window-dresser before going on to create the most famous Italian brand of the past half century.
Etro: First at bat with new boss
Always a good idea to put in a great day’s work when there is a new boss in town. Which was very much the case on Thursday with Veronica Etro, with a bold strong statement in her first runway show since private equity fund L Catterton bought control of the brand.
Presented inside a cavernous hanger in south Milan, the collection featured all the classic Etro signature – bold paisleys; marbled fabrics; and kicky weekend tailoring.
Though this season, Veronica added in a hip-hop twist with humungous prisoner pants, bling-bling metallic tanks and paisley golf hats. For red carpet rapper moments – huge denim pants embroidered in sparking paisley patterns.
A primary-color Etro, best exemplified by the mustard yellow paisley stamped leather shirt jacket worn over matching hot-pants, athletic bra and collapsible bag. Co-ordinated – with matching marbled silk picnic dresses and leggings. Though with plenty of tailoring: classic white tuxedos or ecru Nehru jackets.
Like everyone in Milan she is obsessed with platforms; hers are held on with golden studded straps. Plus, Veronica showed some of the look of the moment; the saucy crocheted Himalayan bra. All worn with dangling earrings or forearm bands, on models whose faces were sprinkled with micro pearls.
However, quite why she decided to climax the show with an ear-splitting display by a dozen drummer furiously battering oil drums was hard to fathom. This merely drummed everyone out of the show immediately.
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