“In 54 looks, Giorgio Armani tastefully combined luxurious materials — like Mikado silks, clean satins, organzas, and silk jacquards — alongside Africa-style patterns, geometric zigzags and bold colors like saffron yellow, ruby red and orange.
A huge lightning bolt down the catwalk added to the eclectic energy coming from ethnic-style jewelry, art deco hats and mysterious wands.
The statement was loud and clear: this season it was about intensity.”
Giorgio Armani F/W 12.13 Milan via Vogue.
“”The modern woman loves to dress in androgynous and masculine clothes, yet she doesn’t want to sacrifice feminine subtlety and lightness,” read the notes which served as a very fitting prelude to the masculine tailoring that begun the collection (boy scout shorts came later too).
The models had something of a seductive gangster and a Bugsy Malone edge about them with jaunty wide-brimmed hats perched at an angle - and they flashed a knowing smile and glance to the audience as they made their entrance.
Then came shocks of pink and raspberry and orange - and it was quite the shock. We’re used to seeing grey and blue and darker, subdued tones from Armani for he is a designer for whom being classic is at his heart.
On tunic tops or as dramatic furs casually lopped over the shoulders, or fed into the construction of another by strand formation, it was lovely to see these corals at work and made for an energetic change of pace.
And pace was certainly a theme of the collection - as a change of colour and scenery at the entrance of the catwalk signalled a new section of the show, moving into swingy and circular A-lines on skirts and dresses and coats. “Slender not snug,” described the notes - again very aptly.
There was something of a rebel attitude in there too - albeit one you might have to work a bit at finding. But the shoes - the zebra stripe pointed numbers - were the giveaway.
Next came the shiny-shiny section, to which the simplicity of the rest of the collection remained intact - almost as though he had saved his most elaborate eveningwear for his Privé collection. Again peach and coral, but as sequins and beads and on short shapes with black skirts just about on show beneath.”
“It appears that something out of the Land Of The Lost has slithered its way over to Giorgio’s drawing board and then perhaps further into his subconscious. Or consciousness, considering what a delight his latest delivery proved to be.
What started out as forest green, pearl and mauve shimmery satin circle and pencil skirts, paired with peaked-shoulder jackets (though it must be said; the jackets were rather ho-hum, a little too Balmainesque), quickly evolved into something out of the ordinary; a trippy, futuristic snake inspired collection that consisted of daring details and even more daring materials.
Furthermore, the model stream was sent out in black serpent headpieces; an adorable added extra. Mesh and sequins came together on several pieces and in all shades of greens while python prints popped as statement pieces, paired with everything else that was going on.
The really fabulous stuff came in the lime green feathered overcoats, the sturdy, wave-structured shirts and the metallic ball gowns, blazoned with crystal and sequin embellishment. Shiny, slimey serpents were stitched into the paired sequined clutches, to boot. It was over the top and overwhelmingly playful – how very couture of you, Giorgio.”
“Two by two the models stepped out – and the applause commenced – in slinky silver and indigo wrap shirts and slit-front trousers, large woven totes of the same shades and sleek skirt suits whose lengths fell to midi. There were black and indigo striped blazers and shell-like shapes on bodiced dresses which unfurled at the hip to create conch curves. Or there were plunge-front sparkling numbers or little shimmery sequin tops slit at the front just enough to show the ever-popular midriff that, with all the gypsy-inspired crop tops we’ve been seeing on the catwalk in Milan this week, is having a moment.
More sleek lines came in the form of kimono-style jackets cut on the bias - it was angular yet soft all at the same time with satins fluently falling into place – “cascading over the body like glistening water”. In royal blue, cerulean and green, three models in strapless gowns came to represent the very inspiration of the whole collection – the sea – in one fell swoop.
“It was refreshing and breezy, I liked the aquatic feel,” said Vogue’s Harriet Quick after the show, which ended with three pearly queens in strapless gowns holding hands and the moon taking up residence on the back wall projection and shining down on the water ripples.”
Giorgio Armani S/S 2012 photos and commentary courtesy of vogue.