Armani opens with film by Oscar-winner Sorrentino

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

MILAN (AP) — Giorgio Armani opened his womenswear preview for next summer with a short art film by Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino titled "Sand," aptly reflecting the weather-beaten grains that inspired his collection.

The film, shot from a boat in the Aeolian archipelago north of Sicily, featured images of sand in all forms: brown sand lapped by the sea, black sand with its volcanic past, chalky white sand bleached by the sun, and dunes evoked by nude figures.

"The images are decisive, strong, very Sorrentino-esque. At first, I expected something softer," Armani said after the show on Saturday, the fourth day of Milan Fashion Week. "But seeing them projected on the background of the runway, I understood that he was right."

Armani's collection was inspired by Mediterranean sands both in its colors — powdery gray, rosy white, pearly beige, lava black and chocolate brown — and in the undulating motion created by the light, often translucent, textiles.

The designer tapped into the Mediterranean's cultural richness with flowing wrapped Greek- and Roman-inspired evening dresses, transparent tapering trousers recalling harem pants, tribal rings layered around the neck and hair tightly braided into crowns.

The tribute reached a crescendo with a regal Cleopatra figure, casting her gaze downward as she walked, enveloped in diaphanous robe, wearing a cascading headdress and holding a purse aloft.

The clothes had a modern, urban feel. The collection was united by easy, fluid silhouettes and rich but diaphanous textiles, so light that a dress could be worn over another dress or pants without bulk.

The 80-year-old Armani, who celebrates 40 years of his company next year, said the inspiration for the collection came to him during his summer holiday, evoking another successful collection some 20 years ago that shared the thread of antiquity.

Sorrentino, Juliette Binoche and Jeremy Piven were on hand for the show.