“Why orange? It's a colour that looks good for blondes and brunettes — it's fresh, new for me — the new generation Armani," announced the designer backstage, flanked by Oscar nominees Nicole Kidman and Isabelle Huppert.
On the contrary, I would have thought the fruity colour was only for high summer, vacations — or hazard warnings. But proving what a fashion pro he is, the Armani vision of a summer tinted with an orange glow had a fresh charm.
The designer was smart enough to see that a spoonful of honey gold can look better as a highlight rather than head-to-toe, therefore he might use a sparkling bright russet and pink bodice with a slim black skirt.
Armani has used a single colour before, taking an entire collection from lilac to a deeper mauve. He must have an artist's eye for these subtle variations and gradients of shades because this all-orange collection was hard to pin down as a single tone.
The colours moved from memories of the rich and bold Ottoman empire with arabesque designs, to gossamer light materials in similar colours.
From the first launch of his Privé collection in January 2005, Giorgio told me this was absolutely not a vanity project but a desire to serve his clients with a wardrobe they would want to wear. He also told me that he intended to make this part of his business as profitable as his many other collections.
I cannot vouch for the financial success of this private company, but Armani clearly has created a network of loyal clients, from those who want to make a mark in Hollywood to those so discreet they are unknown. There are probably more clients here than we see at any other house in Paris, except Chanel and Elie Saab.
This Privé message was clear and bright — clothes to wear in a summer breeze, with the lightness that image suggests. Was it inventive? Wild? Shocking? As if! The Giorgio Armani spirit is about modesty, quality and artistry.
But how will that bright orange look as a slim and shimmering dress on the famously RED carpet? Much like a sunset glow from Italy to LA.