Giorgio Armani must be feeling pretty good right about now. Last night’s Oscars was a slam dunk for the designer who dressed some of the top name “gets” on the red carpet. He garnered globally positive reviews for a copper geometric column dress that matched nominee Jessica Chastain’s hair perfectly, and the asymmetrical cut-out on the top of the gun metal gray dress nominee Naomi Watts wore was rather audacious for the Oscars. And let’s not forget the custom made dress the designer created for the ultimate Hollywood ingénue Quvenzhane Wallis who was nominated as best actress.
But the designer’s fall/winter 2013 collection took its inspiration from a place as far away, sartorially speaking, as one could get from those glamorous red carpet gowns. Armani titled the collection “Garçonne” which roughly translates to tomboy. And his show was all about how to reinterpret the staple items of menswear and adapt them to the female form.
The extensive collection was dominated by outfits in black, gray, white and midnight blue with just a touch of lavender thrown into the mix. The designer played with different types of fabrics such as his tried and true velvet, but also satin, silk and wool. Juxtaposing the textiles so that there was a continual blending of shades and finishes. A mélange that underlined how a single color, in this case black, can be transformed just in the choice of fabric used on an ensemble.
There were the standard silhouettes that the fashion world has come to expect from Armani; the fluid pants, the short boxy jackets and his ubiquitous hats (this time berets) all made it onto the catwalk. More unexpected options were the dark blue pieces embellished with dots and the geometric motifs well tailored jackets, sometimes finished off with jawbreaker sized buttons.
But the take away image from this show was how the designer reworked the classic man’s vest into something sensual for a woman to wear. Just take away the silk shirts under a pair of velvet-vested models (those vests were attached to the matching pants by the way) and the look would be anything but boyish.
- Jessica Michault