The term “star-studded” is thrown around a lot these days, but it truly applies in the case of Giorgio Armani’s “One Night Only” event held in New York City last night (aka “Giorgio Armani Day”). Armani built out a special 97,000-square-foot venue near Chelsea Piers for a retrospective Privé fashion show and walk-through exhibit featuring pieces from various collections from the 1980s to present. And pretty much the entire fashion universe–plus a good chunk of A-list celebs–turned out to support and celebrate Mr. Armani.
My day of Armania started early, with a trip backstage at the massive venue to get a quick peek at the beauty look for the 80 models who were walking in the show. In keeping with the theme of his last Privé couture show, “Nude,” the beauty look was a riff on no makeup makeup, featuring taupe eye shadow, no mascara, a custom-mixed lip stain, and the most translucent clean skin you can imagine, featuring Armani’s new CC cream which launches in March 2014. I also learned that Armani hates blush, so don’t expect to see glowing cheeks at future shows.
I arrived for the show at 8pm and was herded across the bike lanes by the Hudson River into the SuperPier venue by the security detail, who told me that they’d had multiple altercations with aggressive bikers trying to get through the fray. Once inside, though, it was the most glamorous thing I’ve seen since The Great Gatsby, and obviously Armani spared no expense–though he told WWD, “I still haven’t put all the money together, I haven’t added up all of the costs.”
Speaking of The Great Gatsby, Leo DiCaprio was on hand with Martin Scorcese, and yes, I was one of the many mobbing him post-show to snap a picture. (I regret nothing.) Glenn Close, Hilary Swank, Lauren Hutton, Ellen Barkin (who I want to be when I grow up), Renee Zellweger, and Olivia Munn were some of the ladies who I quite literally rubbed elbows with in the seemingly never-ending hallway leading into the event. Every single fashion editor was on hand, too, and everyone was dressed to the nines, presumably in Armani and almost entirely in black. An Armani rep told me that all the waiters and security guards were decked out in Armani as well, and they all got hair and makeup backstage along with the models. “Mr. Armani likes attention to detail,” she told me.
Before the show, I walked through Armani’s greatest-hits “Eccentrico” exhibit, which will be open to the public from today through Sunday. If you’re in NYC, it’s definitely a must-see if you love fashion. You can get up close and personal with gowns and accessories going all the way back to the 1980s, including a zany metal costume worn by Lady Gaga.
The show venue was all black, too, save for a white runway, and the show itself lasted about half an hour–a marathon by fashion show standards. It featured select pieces from all of Armani’s Privé collections since 2005, and ended with his entire “Nude” Privé collection, which he showed for Fall 2013. I’ve been to a lot of fashion shows, but seeing haute couture for the first time, and in such quantity, was something I’m not going to forget anytime soon. Audience members hooted and applauded the flashier gowns, and when Armani took a bow at the end, he truly looked thrilled to be there.
Click through to see the amazing red carpet attendees as well as some select runway looks.