Giorgio Armani, who turns 80 on Friday, recently celebrated his 40th anniversary in fashion. His brand is a blue chip name all over the world; his legacy still relevant, a recurring reference at the recent Milan menswear shows. His name sells lipsticks, hotel rooms, table settings. And yet when Paris haute couture rolls around – a roster where his name has been on the biannual schedule for a decade – he still feels like the outsider.
This is not a criticism of Armani. If anything, it is a reflection on haute couture. Haute couture, the bespoke arm of fashion, is a world steeped in whimsy and a courtly attention to historical accuracy seldom seen outside of period dramas – and that, with the greatest respect, is not Armani’s thing.
Armani entered haute couture in order to showcase his red carpet designs. The Hollywood connection is central to Armani DNA, and a Paris catwalk debut gives gowns a heritage which appeals to a red carpet coterie which is headed by Cate Blanchett, but also includes Kate Hudson, who attended this latest Paris fashion show. Read more.