'Hommage au Japon'
Minutes before the Armani Privé show, hairdressers were teetering on chairs fixing sculptural origami swirls and multicolored ikebana flower arrangements onto the heads of models - making the already long-stemmed girls something like seven-and-a-half-feet tall, from their black lacquered heels to their Philip Treacy headdresses.
Giorgio Armani's Hommage au Japon collection was about to take to the runway, a fall couture essay dedicated to a country and culture he first drew on in 1991, and to which he feels a profound connection. "Japan has been a great fountain of inspiration to me - the designs, the colors, and the shape."
The fall collection is part of Mr. Armani's response to the terrible events which strucks Japan this year. Earlier in the day, he'd ade a donation to a UNESCO scholarship fund for Japanese children and students who have been affected by the disaster.
The East-West mix was filtered through familiar Armani templates. His rigorous pantsuits and strapless dresses all came with variations on patent-leather bustiers, obi-belts, and wrap-over closures, with prints and embroideries of roses, cherry blossoms, and chrysanthemums as decoration. The linearity of silhouette worked well, as did Armani's on-trend choice of peach and apricot shades to work against black and gray. The all-over print pantsuits, a point of style which has been surfacing in the past few weeks in resort. Even Italy's arch-minimalist can have his maximalist moments, it seems.
Giorgio Armani Privé Couture Fall 2011/12
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