The Godfather of fashion: Armani’s style still reveals a master at work

There was certainly a lightness, reflected in the fluidity and fragility of fabrics

Milan

The oldest – and possibly surest – hand in Milan belongs to Giorgio Armani, the elder statesman of Italian fashion. He showed his spring/summer 2014 collection a day later than the rest, in a Monday morning slot he has made his own. If the weekend shows of Moschino and Dolce & Gabbana could sometimes feel like parties, Signor Armani sees fashion as work. He’s dressed the working woman for long enough, so you kind of understand why.

This season’s Armani continued like many others – models walking Ark-like two-by-two, modelling garments that, Armani said, were inspired by lightness and shadows. There was certainly a lightness, reflected in the fluidity and fragility of fabrics, and the pastels the collection favoured were sometimes dulled, as if a pall of Armani’s signature greige were drawn across them.

However, the real inspiration behind Armani’s collection was pure and simple. It was Armani. The garments he showed stand the test of time precisely because they are not of it. It sometimes feels unfair to place Armani alongside his peers in Italy, a little like placing a Rembrandt next to a Pollock. They belong to the same medium, sure, but their approaches, techniques and indeed final outcomes are diametric opposites. Rembrandt and Pollock both hang on walls: Armani’s clothes and those of his Milanese cohorts hang on bodies. But otherwise their similarities are minimal.

Giorgio Armani acknowledges the audience at the end of his show Giorgio Armani acknowledges the audience at the end of his show  

Watching the fluttering culottes, the unstructured jackets in herringbone, or the diaphanous evening dresses in chiffon spackled with glinting beads walking in the cold blue catwalk lighting that Armani favours, you were struck by their similarities to his collections past, the continuum of the Armani style – style over fashion. I couldn’t help but remember the declaration of the late, great Yves Saint Laurent: “I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style.” I wonder if Armani would say the same.

From an old master to new blood on the Via Della Spiga: last night saw the first catwalk show from a new Italian designer. Yes, they do exist. His name is Fausto Puglisi, previously showing via look-books and some terribly visible (and sometimes risible) gold-studded outfits worn by the fearless fashion likes of Anna Dello Russo. Such has Puglisi’s success been, even before his first own-label show he was head-hunted as head designer for the  Paris-based but very much Italian-born label of Emanuel Ungaro.

Italian fashion designer Fausto Puglisi after presenting his women's Spring-Summer 2014 collection Italian fashion designer Fausto Puglisi after presenting his women's Spring-Summer 2014 collection  

His eponymous label, however, skews more towards the work of Gianni Versace – witness the second Axl Rose reference of the week after Donatella’s own ode to rock, with saddle-leather bondage straps buckled across brightly coloured silks, splashed with printed or sequinned palm trees like Vegas motel-room curtains. Most clothing stopped at the crotch. If it went lower, it was slit to the waist. Puglisi isn’t dressing shrinking violets and this collection will get both his label and his clients noticed. He may be young – just 37 – but Puglisi offered a persuasive counter-statement to Armani’s, the duo closing a strong Milan Fashion Week with a bang rather than a thud.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    The Grange Retirement Home: Full Time Care Team Manager

    £22,400: The Grange Retirement Home: This is a key role which requires a sound...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

    £30 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Software / Web Developer (PHP / MYSQL) i...

    Day In a Page

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada