It was the turn of the famed Italian designer, Giorgio Armani, to take to the haute couture catwalk in Paris last night. In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, Armani, who turns 80 in June this year, staged his upscale Armani Prive collection with guests including an Armani clad Paloma Faith and the eternally chic Kristen Scott Thomas.
The designer had been thinking of men's ties by all accounts. Out came slender tailored jackets, some with peplums, teamed with everything from circle skirts to wide-legged trousers and dhoti pants in richly coloured silks printed in a manner that clearly referenced that acccessory.
Later a similar look was veiled in fine lace and silk tulle, much of it jewelled, doubtless to the delight of many an Oscar hopeful out there. Folkloric flourishes lent a signature relaxed silhouette a certain exoticism: appliqued Eastern-inspired motifs appeared at the neckline, in place of a crest on a blazer and at the small of a slender back and ultra luxe headscarves - pleated, embroidered and scattered with sparkle - were worn with each and every outfit.
Armani Privé [Catwalking]
After the show, attendees milled around a dimly lit retrospective of Armani's work which has by now perhaps graced more red carpets than anyone else's in the industry. It was called Eccentric though its strength often lay in the fact that, for all their glittering ornamentation, the pieces on display - elegant column dresses, full skirted fairytale gowns, oversized brooches and tiny purses which owed more than a little to Surrealism - were always grounded in reality. These were clothes that are at the service of the woman who wears them over and above the ego of the man who created them.
Talking of reality, and safe in the knowledge that even the predominantly pin-thin couture client has to eat, a late dinner was then served. The event - runway show, exhibition and ensuing banquet - was named One Night Only, Paris.