At 89 Years Old, Giorgio Armani Is In The Realm Of Playfulness For Armani Privé
With almost a century of beauty under his belt, Mr. Armani articulates his raison d'être for Spring/Summer 2024
It was only a decade into Giorgio Armani’s existence when the constraints of how women could—and should—dress were lifted. The grand courtiers of his time quelled sartorial restrictions placed on females through rigid and austere silhouettes. In turn, ushering in an era of liberation.
One can only imagine the changes Mr. Armani has seen (and also had a hand in) over his 89 years. Yet, perhaps none more influential than the fashion revolution he witnessed growing up in the city of Piacenza in Northern Italy.
With Mr. Armani at the precipice of two significant milestones—his upcoming 90th birthday in July, and the 20th anniversary of his Haute Couture line, Armani Privé, in 2025—one would not blame him for using the platform his vast empire has allowed him to offer a retrospective on the radical evolution of the past and the precariousness of now. That’s not, however, Mr. Armani’s modus operandi. Who has time for reflection when he’s busy ploughing ahead?
But amongst the legions of collections he develops each calendar year, the revered veteran has found a moment of reprieve. Not of pause, but of play. The latter was the crux of the Spring/Summer 2024 season. Mr. Armani explored the notion of playfulness—the role frivolity, youthfulness and humour have in craftsmanship and how couture as an art form can be performed.
The collection, a parade of 92 ensembles, was titled Haute Couture en Jeu. Speaking to press before the show, Mr. Armani explained his rationale: “On one hand, it means ‘putting couture into play,’ while on the other it can be translated into ‘Couture is having fun.’ Either way, it was time for me to be courageous, to take risks, and to probably be a little less Armani.”
Given his reputation as “fashion’s fortune teller”, perhaps Mr. Armani knew this chance card would reap. The Armani Privè woman has this to be thankful for. In getting out of his comfort zone, Mr. Armani proved his vocation was one of pleasure.
Still recognisably “Armani”, silhouettes buoyed from delicate daywear defined by sequin mesh long sleeves layered under lace blouses, capes embroidered with Eastern influences and light as air trousers, to compelling eveningwear underpinned by sensuality.
A soft palette influenced the ethereal state of the collection. This is a dream wardrobe realised in one singular floating procession. A tender nod to the progression of his doctrine and the women who shaped it. New tricks for advanced players.