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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

#SuzyCouture: Armani Privé — On Fashion’s Grid

11 Июля 2016

Actress Cate Blanchett in the front row with Roberta Armani, Giorgio Armani’s niece, at Armani Privé A/W 2016-17
Actress Cate Blanchett in the front row with Roberta Armani, Giorgio Armani’s niece, at Armani Privé A/W 2016-17

“Très, très couture,” said Giorgio Armani backstage to describe this season’s look, before running off like a man half his age to pose with the models — and then back again to greet Cate Blanchett and the line-up of front-row clients.

Ah! The clients! This is the designer with the most evident female audience — often with male partners — at the Paris Haute Couture season.

Armani Privé A/W 2016-17
Armani Privé A/W 2016-17

And the clothes are obviously made with them in mind, especially the useful jackets and trousers. And even if not every client will move from the rigorous geometric patterns into softly gathered Zouave pants, these are all clothes designed to be desirable.

The angular game-of-chess started with a grid as a backdrop. That geometry was reinforced by neat, square shoulders — the Armani take on the current trend — and with checkerboard patterns. They came every which way in miniature dogstooth checks, a bigger pattern on a floaty cape, and two or three examples of this black-and-white geometry in a single taut jacket.

Armani Privé A/W 2016-17
Armani Privé A/W 2016-17

I am constantly intrigued by Armani’s ability to move with the ebb and flow of changing times, without ever running after a trend. The current shoulder story, so often overdone elsewhere, had just the right proportions to satisfy his international clientele – 200 of whom were present at this Privé show. The geometric shoulder line, emphasised by the grid patterns or just by a tidy, COMMA upturned triangle shape for the jackets, was also revealed by its absence. That meant a velvet top sliced off at the shoulders, worn with narrow dogstooth-check trousers, or a velvet evening dress where one shoulder was bared, the other with a pouffe of striped fabric. 

Then there were the Zouave pants, soft and languorous in velvet or slithering silk. Not for “real” clients? Yet there was Cate Blanchett looking spiffy in an all-in-one jumpsuit with a spidery flower pattern.

Armani Privé A/W 2016-17
Armani Privé A/W 2016-17

I would like, one day, to sit down with Armani and ask him how he keeps up so seamlessly with the fashion times while never compromising his own aesthetic. But I already know that this absorption of past, present, and future is what makes a designer great. (a)

из
Armani Privé A/W 2016-17

Armani Privé A/W 2016-17

Armani Privé A/W 2016-17

Armani Privé A/W 2016-17

Armani Privé A/W 2016-17

Armani Privé A/W 2016-17

Giorgio Armani

Giorgio Armani


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