If anyone is to ever question who Couture is for, and who, exactly, buys it – allow us to direct them to the fabulously outfitted ladies who sit front row at Armani Privé. The man has a legion of devoted fans who turn up wearing it and then buy more whilst sat there and then, dialling up purchases from the catwalk. Little wonder – Mr Armani has an incredible knack for taking just about any garment and instilling each one with his very own kind of fantasy. So much fantasy that it all got a bit much for our Garthy, who had a bit of a moment. “It’s the movement, it’s the sound, it’s the experience,” he said post-show, probably at the point he will never fulfil his dream of owning a Couture gown for “parties and stuff.” He was particularly taken with the beaded gown which sort of clinked down the catwalk, a sound Mr Spencer described as: “a decadent Cicada beetle roasting in the sun.” Which, despite the way it sounds, I am assured is a good thing. Like pebbles on a beach.
Anyway – point is, these are clothes that are rich with embellishment and sensory detail – this languid glamour that Mr Armani can claim as his own. Here, the symbol of the rose emerged throughout – glittering on sheer gowns or across giants swathes of fabric that sat, bow-like, across the models chests. So what else of the clothes? There was incredible tailoring of course, what is any Armani show, Privé or otherwise, without some cracking suits? Here they sliced across the model’s bodies, fitting perfectly and worn with nothing beneath. That tailoring spoke to something darker, more mysterious that ran throughout (“a halo of mystery,” says Mr Armani) – compounded by the international sign of mystery – a smoky eye. Because the Armani lady should never be trusted. No, no. She’s always got better places to be. And with that, we’re off to our better place. 40 percent proof alcohol. Goodnight from Paris.
Photographs Jason Lloyd-Evans