There has been much activity surrounding Giorgio Armani’s New Normal campaign launched this week, described by the house as a timeless distillation of the Armani style, embodied by its cast of models, Yasmin le Bon, Eva Herzigova, Stella Tennant and Nadja Auermann, and photographed by the longstanding collaborator, Peter Lindbergh.
The collection is intended to “convey a sense of reality,” said Giorgio Armani, and “offer natural elegance and the normality of everyday life.” The collection’s wardrobe pillars, including the Breton, the classic coat, and several variations on a white shirt, have very little to do with haute couture, but it only further demonstrates the gamut of the Armani offering. This evening, Armani Prive sat at the absolute opposite of that scale.
Attended by Charlotte Rampling, Olga Kurylenko and Iggy Azalea, the 81-year-old designer opened with a series of ultra feminine sheer organza and gauze ensembles worked into wafty reefer jackets, shorts, and airy trousers with curiously ruffled cuffs and hand-sewn embroidered ribbons. Lilac was a recurring theme (the first clue of that arrived via the violet invitation). Every model wore a wavy, glossy black wig and it was a look that was reminiscent of three Korean beauties, no doubt loyal customers, who sat front row and were each dressed in an Armani showpiece.
They ooh-ed and ahh-ed at the frothiest finale creations that sauntered along his runway – which by now was invisible under a cloud of dry ice – and snapped away on their iPhones. From crinoline bustier dresses embroidered with Swarovski crystals and sequins (one dress required five seamstresses and 300 hours of sewing) to a tulle top bedecked in black plexi hand-sewn ribbons, and a full-skirted ball gown created from undulating waves of silk – yes, all were undoubtedly headed for Oscar season (Rampling will be looking for something to wear) and about as far away from normal as you can get. Sarah Harris