Giorgio Armani Streamed a Velvet Touch

The Covid-19 (Coronavirus) became the hot topic for the last day of Milano Fashion Week and, due to this, Giorgio Armani decided to show his collection behind closed doors by broadcasting it via stream on all online and social media channels. It was a decision that shook the System and obsessive fear spread out among the fashion people. Through the screens of every device, the collection was an ode to velvet and its soft touch. As for the Emporio, black was the leitmotif, interrupted by just a few flashes of pink, aqua green and pearl grey, mixing gentle femininity and precise tailoring. The sharp shoulders, emphasised by epaulettes and gallons, evolved in fluid silhouettes that kept the elegance level very high. The nightly mood made the sparkling touch that almost every look had all the more precious, from fabrics to embroideries a shiny accent dazzled, delivering what was, on the whole, a sophisticated collection, precious daywear and powerful evening. Giorgio Armani decided to close the show with an unexpected homage to China by presenting a selection of 12 Privé looks from Spring Summer 2009 and 2019 inspired by the beauties of the Country. This show was an interesting experiment as well. For a long time now, the discussion about fashion shows and their formula has been under the spotlight. Are they still relevant? What should be the most modern way to present a collection? Armani accidentally stated that streaming and remote solutions don't work. The magic of a live show is irreplaceable, the live movement of the garments unique. It could be a democratic tool to spread the fashion among people but, for professionals, the live emotion is still the drive that makes this industry spin, the same drive that makes people want to buy the clothes.

Dolce & Gabbana showed their collection as planned. The two designers were already active in this field as, last week, they made a donation to Italian Humanitas University which is actively researching scientific solutions to the Covid-19. But, going back to frilly fashion, the collection dug deeply into their Sicilian roots. The show started with a video that showcased all the métiers from Sicily (and elsewhere) that made the region – and our country – well-renowned globally. It was a celebration of craftsmanship, much as they did for their men’s collection, and something they have been promoting for a while. The show opened with their signature sensual woman wearing voluminous black wool pullovers and old-style lingerie. The knits were declined in every shape, from oversize sweaters to mini, long dresses and coats, often embellished with embroideries or knitted with macrame technique. Tailoring was present and the wardrobe crossing from men to women was fun and included oversized jackets, suits and coats. Red was the only pop of colour that interrupted the parade: roses started to flourish on garments knitted, embroidered and attached. The craftsmanship message became one of their workhorses but this runs the risk of putting the duo in a difficult position in terms of creativity as the collection looked a bit repetitive both in the formula and style. What made Dolce & Gabbana an iconic brand is undoubtedly the link with their Sicilian and Italian style but interpreted in many different facets. Recently, their collections have become a catalogue of their best assets but they are missing a bit of the surprise factor.

“For this collection, we went into the archives and old campaigns to bring the best we had and update it to modern days,” explained Ingo Wilts Chief Brand Officer at Boss. “I wanted to create a bridge between past and future and speak to new generations. A lot of tailoring redesigned with a fresh approach and for the women, we also went into vague 1920s silhouettes with high waist dresses.” The palette made the job, from lilac to brown to rust, from coral red to burgundy to charcoal grey and blue. Colours that injected energy to a rigorous collection where suits, coats and constructions, in general, were the real focus for both women and men (the show was co-ed). The casualwear exploded with knits, few blousons, puffer and nylon coats. Even if the elegant mood was undeniable, the overall look was a bit soulless and this made the collection less desirable than it could have been. Every single item had a high standard of quality both in design and execution, but an engaging factor, mostly for new generations, was still missing.

Upper-class ladies strolled at Ports 1961, back in Milano after last season's presentation at London Fashion Week. “It’s kind of subconscious memory of a woman who loves clothes," explained Karl Templer backstage, Artistic Director and famous fashion stylist. “It's all about the way she composes the look and how she adds feelings and interprets them, that kind of mood that there was in the early 90s when around a single item you then built the full look. Every piece has his own identity and this is its strength.” The silhouette was very feminine and sophisticated, the fluid silk dresses, shirts and pleated skirts gave a bourgeois look, the tailored suits added a touch of energy to the collection. The approach was more editorial than expected; Templer applied his stylist point of view to define the look, starting from the clothes and combining them to create the collection, something that is actually the reversed process of a design studio. The creative process should sound new and interesting, but the result was a mix of different styles from other different brands with a bit of nostalgia. A collection is most definitely not a fashion shooting.

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