PARIS--What an emotional roller coaster Armani couture was on Tuesday night. As if Cameron Diaz’s platinum crop wasn’t enough of a thrill, Jessica Chastain received a phone call nanoseconds before the show with news of her Oscar nomination. How could a collection ever live up to such a double-act?
Well, it did. For the collection struck that subtle balance between Giorgio’s taste for anything that shimmers, and the sweet silliness of the hairdos--remarkably messy hair with Swarovski-crystal encrusted corkscrews worn straight on the head, a 'do fit for Helena Bonham Carter.
The theme was metamorphosis--like the mutation from flora to fauna, aqua to solid. Oceans of organza undulated and glittered like late-night waves (which was precisely the theme of his last ready-to-wear collection), and contrasted with slick blazers. Waxed snakeskin tops rubbed shoulders with reptile prints, all in a bold, green palette. Shimmery corsets were wrapped in a deluge of silk, but daywear was controlled and pencil-shaped. The Tim Burton feel was furthered by an ankle length skirt with giant pocket, paired with a simple sleeveless blouse.
As always with Armani, members of the public (or the team, so I’ve heard), frantically clapped at the sight of especially shiny garments. And then, the man himself – Giorgio - simply stood there, lit by a spotlight in a totally dark room, and calmly stared at the crowd. It made me smile, as it’s become a convention for today’s designers to hardly pop their heads out of the backstage area. Bravo, Giorgio.