Geisha-infused glamour at Giorgio Armani

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Giorgio Armani Prive dedicated his collection of wildly expensive made-to-measure skintight column dresses and painted-on pantsuits to the victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

"Homage to Japan," shown today on day two of Paris' rarified autumn-winter 2011-12 haute couture shows, incorporated Japanese silks and shapes culled from kimonos into the Italian designer's trademark lean, clean-lined shapes.



Strips of printed silks peeked out from slits on the back of a peak-shouldered cropped jackets in black velvet. A pencil skirt and bandeau tops fitted with stiff architectural panels bloomed with oversized cherry blossoms. The head wear — always inventive at Armani — was made from what appeared to be Japanese wrapping paper or an explosion of fans.



As usual, the looks were so tight it was hard to imagine anyone besides a teenage model — or Cate Blanchett, who graced the front row, along with Katie Holmes — managing to wiggle into them. And if somehow you managed to, then you could just forget walking. Even the whip thin models barely managed to mince their ways down the catwalk without incident.

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