Rondò Armaniano: the SS23 Armani Privé collection is a luminescent fantasy in which the clothes dance and shine.Just like the Rococo interiors of Venetian palazzos, it is the splendour of light, multiplied by extraordinary embroidery, that creates the most precious sensations. Everything is light, impalpable and glittering. The diamonds motif expands onto the catwalk, in a painting that becomes reality.
Giorgio Armani is perhaps the only designer who has the rigor—or the will—to meditate on one idea throughout 77 looks. This season, for Armani Privé, it was the theme of harlequins. The diagonally-checkered painted runway gave the game away as the audience came in.
The colors, though, were also a giveaway. Instead of the more garish ones seen in traditional harlequin costumes, here were watery green, mauve, pale blue, and gold. A press note had a line which specifically linked the shades to “the rococo interiors of Venetian palazzos and the splendor of the light.” Armani also subtly located the harlequin within the centuries-old Venetian commedia dell’Arte, and the historic roots of theater.
Well, as everyone knows, Armani dresses actors for awards ceremonies. They and their stylists will be urgently looking for what they might take from the Armani harlequin parade.
His collection was calculated to shimmer and twinkle against graphic outlines and blocks of black. The lozenge pattern was embroidered in crystals or patchworked in metallic leather on jackets in varying intensities of color. The sense that it was paced out to appeal to different personalities and tastes continued: sometimes playfully in all-over diamond patterned pajamas with a Pierrot ruff, for somebody young with a quirky sense of humor; then, very chicly in long, sinuous long-sleeved paillette dresses in various different shades of pink.
There were exits of styles that vaguely read Deco Jazz-Age, others that seemed more 1980s flouncy ball gown. Within a sequence of double-layered transparent dresses, there was suddenly even one with a narrow black band for a top which looked distinctly punk-fetish. Roll on the Academy Awards to see how many women sign up to the Armani harlequinade.