Because Giorgio Armani really loves to speak his mind, he held a press conference after his ready-to-wear show Monday (really though, does anyone else do that?). And while we weren't there, a translated dispatch from WWD confirms the whole thing was basically an opportunity for Armani to vent and express his frustrations with everyone from Anna Wintour to Miuccia Prada to Dolce & Gabbana to the Italian Fashion Chamber. While he often didn't name names, it was pretty clear whom he was talking about, and, other than that, he did not restrain himself.
On Anna Wintour, who did not attend the show Monday (the last day of Milan Fashion Week, on which Armani was the only big-name designer to show): “There are some who prefer to snub the Giorgio Armani show and go to Paris,” he said. “Why should I always be the moron [translating from an Italian expletive] to be penalized because of a person, who, for better or for worse, like or dislike it, is powerful? I feel penalized,” he noted. “She said she was sending her people. But if you go to see your dentist and he puts you in the hands of his assistant, what’s your reaction? They told me ‘She went to see the Privé in Paris; she has no time to see the ready-to-wear in Milan.’ She is influential and powerful. But, perhaps, I’m influential as well.”
On the Italian Fashion Chamber failing to get more big designers to show on the last day of MFW: “When we decided to show the last day, other big brands were involved. But currently this is an empty day," he said. “Does this mean protecting the Italian fashion? Where is the Camera? I rejoined it but I can always exit again. I can just put in a phone call….”
On Dolce & Gabbana's enchanted forest runway: “I wanted to bring an owl with me this morning.”
On designers who make fantasy clothes: “I think that the exaltation of the idea that designers can be just completely free to express their fantasy is really dangerous,” he said. “I’m very happy that others do what they do. I respect my colleagues. I’m happy with what I do, but I feel like a black swan in doing clothes with a function and with an attention to the commercial aspect."
On Prada (presumably): "It’s very easy to do a V-neck dress with a bold print. It’s more difficult to make a suit or a jacket look new. It’s easier to freewheel."
He chose a pretty powerful bunch to spew thinly-veiled insults at. But does he have a point with any of them? We have a hard time with his vilifying of Anna Wintour for skipping his show (and especially that dentist metaphor), and his claims that anything Prada does is "very easy." But it's not news that Italy's fashion industry is in jeopardy, and Armani's worries are justified; indeed, he has made personal efforts to change that. He also made the point that the industry might get more government support if designers created more salable, functional clothing, which may be true -- it seems to work for commercially-minded New York. But where would the fun be in that?