The premise of Giorgio Armani’s S/S 2013 womenswear collection - titled ‘kaleidoscope’ (you start to wonder when he’ll run out of emphatic one-word titles) – was to show the multifaceted nature of the label and Armani’s breadth as a designer. It was ironic then that he chose to open his collections with a run of silvery tailoring and a signature flat brogue (this time channelling a distinctly Miu Miu vibe thanks to a metallic heel). His classic grey suiting hardly shouts change and versatility. But then again Armani has never been a shouty designer, he lets the silent, smaller details and perfect alterations do the talking. For S/S the innovation came in the fabrics – and boy was it impressive. Materials such as gossamer silk and organza were employed to tweak silhouettes by creating fluid lines that moved like liquid and glimmered in the light. While the daywear was impressive, it was the eveningwear than really shone. Literally. It was sparkle mania over at Armani towers thanks to inky navy pieces littered with beading to create the effect of a starry sky. These were old school Armani showstoppers, harking back to the days where he was the go to man for all of Hollywood’s great and good.
It’s easy to dismiss Armani’s collections as dull or predictable. Indeed, one rarely arrives expects surprises. But it should be remembered that while he may not go through the same seasonal transformations that many other less established designers deem necessary, his lengthy career has sparked some marvellous innovations. Maybe it was the knock on effect of his retrospective exhibition Eccentrinco – which celebrated some of those more creative career highs - or maybe it was just a desire to really go for it this season, but for S/S the true brilliance of Armani was as clear at the night skies on his glorious gowns.