The concept of perpetual change. Could there be anything more fashionable than that?
What is fashion if not metamorphosis, the shedding of one skin for another - and another, and another, if the cycle of seasons continues its these ever-increasing circles. That was the idea behind Giorgio Armani's Privé collection this season, the concept of perpetual change. Could there be anything more fashionable than that?
Rather than couture, however, Signor Armani likened it to nature - hence the green sheen cast over his models, from verdigris bronzed make-up to chartreuse semi-sheer tights giving the skin an odd, vegetative pallor. Sometimes those came as arm coverings - with a whirling frock of fleshy ruffles like lush undergrowth, perhaps, or another crusted from millions of lime metallic cup-shaped sequins or fronds of ostrich like some exotic, vermicious man-eating plant.
That represents nature at her least natural, if we're borrowing from Huysman's A Rebours; and the shape of the orchid, that prince of blooms, was echoed in Armani's skirts, folded organically around the legs like a bud and peeling away as the models walked. They also reminded you of a chrysalis, that ultimate symbol of transformation. It's uncertain that the Armani chrysalis ever blossomed into a butterfly: we seemed stuck in the pupae state, all that hefty folded fabric bunched grub-like around the body, sometimes mesh wrapping silk like a semi-transparent skin. That also evokes snakes - there was a bit of that print thrown in too, on expansive evening dresses that sometimes exploded into peplums like cobra hoods while Philip Treacy's spiralling hats were like coiled crystal-crusted pythons plonked on top of the models' heads.
Suffice to say, despite the single dominant shade of green - or to be more precise the ever-difficult-to-wear chartreuse, a sticky, sickly crossbreed of circusy lemon and lime - this collection rambled. The fabrics at least felt modern, a metallic sheen across those organically folded skirts, and the techno-mesh swathing everything from sleek evening gowns to taut, fastening-free blazers and high-waisted trousers. Those felt like Armani engaging with a modern manner of dressing that you could see women seizing upon - and its those, rather than the jewel-bedecked evening gowns, that would make exciting and contemporary red carpet choices for that all-important Armani Oscar Roster.