Text Cesare Cunaccia
Rhapsody in Orange. Orange in all its tones and densities, in all its nuances and variations. Always energizing and fragrant, like a Sicilian tangerine, like the Japanese sun in Hokusai or an exoteric pictorial vibration from Mark Rothko. The Armani Privé collection for the next Spring/Summer revolves around this exact hue. The front row at the show is star-packed, courtesy of, most of all, two leading ladies of cinema who have both recently earned a nomination at the Academy Awards: Isabelle Huppert and Nicole Kidman, faithful followers of the Milan house. «Orange is the color of courage» – Giorgio Armani declared – «it can bring vigor and strength to a woman who needs a little spark».
Forty-eight outfits for a show that has the undertones of a theatre play, and develops along a geometric progression and Armani’s signature pace of pure linearity. An approach that is at the same time linear and abundant with echoes and evocations. Plastic shapes like the straight, embroidered tunic underneath a see-through layer in the same tangerine nuance, or the two, one-shouldered pleated column dresses scattered with a galaxy of micro-crystals. The first outfits come alive thanks to masterly cut blazers, reworking a theme much cherished by the designer, and totally revamped in the cut, embellishments and color choice. The orange crocodile skin spencer featuring micro-sequin black frog fastening, the embroidered brocade, the evanescent bugle bead textures and the handkerchief hem dress that adheres to the body only by a small, elaborate front bib. All is immersed in a tonal orange palette. Hieratical embroidery adorns the two opulent ball gowns in the finale, that again unveil the constant thread of the slanting pleating, the result of a manual technique that verges on sculptural virtuosity.