Giorgio Armani Privé Couture Fall Winter 2013 Paris

Giorgio Armani went beyond the pale with his fall/winter 2013 couture show. No, the Italian designer didn’t go rogue from his refined aesthetic rather he chose to construct his collection almost entirely in shades of pink, with just a touch of contrasting black. Truth be told the title of the show Nude explained the maestro's inspiration for this collection in one decisive word.

This nude concept wasn’t just limited to Armani’s color choice, he developed the idea to include a deft study in transparence. He played with the illusion of exposed skin and in some cases even incorporated bare breast (ok they might have been covered by a veil of shear organza) into his design ideas. But we are getting a bit a head of ourselves here.

At the start of the show the parade of beige “ladies who lunch” ensembles, with their elongated jackets, fluid paints or knee length skits paired with chunky pearl necklaces and matching prim heels were pretty standard fare for the designer who actually does have a clientele who likes to where couture during the day.

From there Armani gave his ladies a number of languid old school Hollywood glamour options. Easy silk ensembles worn with say a Lamé jacket covered in gold embroidery, an iridescent beige snakeskin jacket, or a voluminous pink coat covered in a bold black lace design. And this is where the model’s skin started to play a more central role.

First, in the classic fashion of the models going bare chested underneath a perfectly tailored harlequin patterned silk jacquard jacket or a decadent pink marabou overcoat. But then more spectacularly. For example, when a peplum sheer tulle top was embellished with whorls of strategically placed flowers created from baguette beading. Then there were the invisible top options Armani proposed. The translucent tops would be outfitted with jeweled embroidery to create the effect of a shimmering chemise being spun out of thin air. They added a bit of spice to this sugar sweet show. While the introduction of a series of black lace overlay ensembles also helped give a dramatic edge to the graceful designs.

This was a collection that felt tailored for a modern day princess. Be they ones born to the title, bestowed it by the powers that be in Hollywood, or simply, a women who decided all on her own that she was just as worthy of feeling like royalty.

- Jessica Michault