Armani looks back to the future

Giorgio Armani had three important things to
say on Monday: yes, he can do colours other than grey and beige, no, he is
going nowhere and no, he has not had a nose job.

The first point was made by his Spring-Summer 2016 womenswear
an unexpectedly colourful affair suffused by various hues of red (flame,
lacquer and geranium, since you ask).
The second and third were made by Armani himself at the launch of a
self-penned book about his extraordinary life and career, told largely
a total of 410 pictures, many of them previously unpublished snaps from his
private archive.

Among them is one of him as a baby — looking remarkably similar to
how he
does today, at the age of 81.
Asked why he had chosen that image for the cover, the designer replied:
“Yes, there was a reason for that: the nose.
“Many have said, quite impertinently, that Armani had a nose job and that
it made him look younger. Well, that nose you see there is the same as this

He’ll never retire

Armani also found impertinent a question about where he imagined his
multi-billion-euro empire being in 30 to 40 years.
That did not however stop him answering in terms which suggest that,
he has begun planning for what happens after he has gone, retirement is not
his immediate agenda.

“In any case I won’t be there,” he said, admitting that, without him
at the
helm, it might be difficult for his company to remain the independent,
structure it is now.
“Independence is a beautiful thing. You can choose everything from the
light you have in your office to the kind of fashion you make.
“But independence also means having the means to preserve your
independence. As long as I am alive, I think, independence will be there.
After, immediately after, perhaps we will prepare the ground for a more
modified, more controlled independence.
“But it will depend on what fashion is at that time and the position we
find ourselves in.”

Asked if he could imagine anyone replacing his as the guiding creative
force at the company, he joked: “My ego would say of course nobody would
work like Armani,” before conceding: “There are talents about.”
He doubts however that anyone could come in and run the company from top
bottom as he has done for the last 40 years.

“Things have changed so much. A new designer must be creative and
by a commercial organisation. Otherwise it is too tough.”
Veteran fashion commentator Suzy Menkes, who worked with Armani on the
and is a long-time friend, suggested he would keep working for as long as he
physically could.
“It is no good asking him when he is going to retire. He is never going
retire. He is just going to go on until the end. Good for him.”

Sophisticated sensuality

Armani’s latest collection reflected much that was seen elsewhere at
latest Milan fashion week, which concluded Monday.
The master of understatement made much use of on-trend overlapping,
sometimes transparent, layers to create what he termed an “ethereal
But it was still unmistakably Armani.

Where his Milanese rivals have used diaphanous materials to expose
midriffs, breasts and upper thighs, Armani deployed them to offer glimpses
yet more sublime fabric underneath. Or he used embroidered lines, bands and
motifs to ensure modesty was preserved.

Bare backs and shoulders recurred, often under over-sized brimmed and
hats while wedge sandals accentuated the new tone Armani characterised in
collection notes as a “silent revolution” and a statement about a new
and powerful” femininity.
“Sensuality is here,” the notes said. “But never in a way that is

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The overall feel was best summed up by a grey skirt suit worn with
resembled the most delicate of transparent red petticoats – worn under the
collar-less jacket and over the skirt.
“Giorgio Armani” by Giorgio Armani is published by Rizzoli New York with
all royalties being donated to UNICEF. (AFP)