Thursday 24th September

| BY Paul Toner

Emporio Armani: Ready-to-Wear SS21

It was back in February when Mr Giorgio Armani made the emergency decision to hold his eponymous label’s Ready-to-wear show behind closed doors. The news was pinged to the phones of editors and international press 2am the morning of, many of whom – including us – would believe this would be a one-off rarity. Oh, how we were wrong.

Now we live in a world where catwalks are the anomalies, and those that go ahead have a fraction of the crowds that once came crammed together, if not, no audience at all. Most brands are pivoting their focus to film, a move Mr Armani has advanced on by creating his own virtual miniature universe.

Titled Building Dialogues – with its own dedicated website – Emporio Armani’s co-ed SS21 collection is unleashed in a mini-movie of sorts. Filmed at the company’s headquarters on Via Bergognone in Milan, a star-studded cast including Sita Abellan, Omar Ayuso and Rocco Fasano can be seen venturing to an intergalactic sphere that orbits the sky. Moving in cohesive movements, sometimes appearing robotic, the gang’s armour for such a quest comes in feather-light materials in neutral hues.

Spliced with moments of dance courtesy of Germain Louvet and Les Twins (you might recognise them as two of Beyoncé’s lead dancers), the Armani army are equipped in slender silhouettes with plenty of movement. Jackets are stripped of lining and left without lapels – envisioning a relaxed yet sharp silhouette. For the boys, suede bomber jackets and skelatal gilets are particular standouts, carefully aligning with a series of women’s parkers, barely-there mini dresses and louche suiting to craft a narrative that’s cohesive, yet never one-note.

Alongside the film, viewers are able to watch interviews with each member of the cast, as well as delve deep into how this massive production was put together. As engaging as it was innovative, Building Dialogues proved that in a digitalised world, Mr Armani is a master of modern fashion.

Directed by Leandro Emede and Nicolo Cerioni.