Ten’s To See: ‘Accents of Style’ by Giorgio Armani at Armani/ Silos in Milan
The fashion world of today is dotted with a slew of designers who are masters in one specific field. There’s certain names you can turn to if you need a kitschy party dress, others are best for the comfiest pair of trackies to slouch in your office chair in. This dichotomy that has emerged within the influx of designers that have come into fruition over the past decade is great for us, as we get to stack our wardrobes with a chorus of brilliant names. Yet the fashion houses who have withstood the test of time haven’t done so by staying in just one lane. Giorgio Armani is a true titan of fashion. He is the undisputed king of Italian craft, toying with masculine and feminine tropes for over four decades, through sublime couture and ready-to-wear, right through to footwear, accessories and deliciously scented eau de parfums. Each new Armani venture drips in the level of precision as the one that came before, and a new exhibition journeys 44 years of untouchable Armani craft.
Accents of Style, curated by Mr. Armani himself, is a retrospective of the brand’s best accessories throughout the history of his brands, including bags, footwear and fine jewels. Whilst in the 1980s, many brands began defining their practice through leather goods before moving onto ready-to-wear, Armani headed in the opposite direction. First empowering the ladies of luxury in uber-sensual tailoring, doused in moody shades of navy, grey and beige, the designer then turned his hand to accessories – which to this day are made with the same high levels of refined innovation of the clothes that saunter down the Armani catwalks each season.
The path of the exhibition is spliced into key themes that have remained mainstays in Armani’s work, from Metropolis and Neoclassical, to Colour Block and Shimmers of Light. Walking through the space, the sheer breadth of materials and textures Armani has coated his accessories in is a true highlight; bags splashed in the softest of leathers, liquid-y silks and patent reptile skins. When it comes to footwear, the key focal point is the ballet flat pump, which Armani pioneered the industry with, being one of the first to pair the silhouette with an evening gown.
The space is crawling with insect-shaped brooches and necklaces that conjoin silver and gold with off-kilter accents such as tulle and velvet. “I like the idea of going beyond my limits, of pushing myself further and always taking on new challenges,” explains Mr. Armani. “Thereafter, I’m carrying on with my experiments and having fun.” Amongst the accessories, iconic Armani editorials and campaigns are emblazoned on the walls. So whether you’re gawking at the bags, the shoes, and the jewels; or your eyes wander to the brand’s visual journey projected in each corner of the room – one sentiment runs throughout: no one does it quite like Mr. Armani.
The ‘Accents of Style’ exhibition is on display at the Armani/Silos Via Bergognone 40, Milano until February 2nd 2020.