Wednesday 4th July

| BY Claudia Croft

Giorgio Armani Privé: Couture AW18

Mr Armani was on a mission. “Conveying to the younger generation the true meaning of couture,” was the maestro’s intention. This 94-look collection was an epic exercise in show and tell. This is how it’s done, kids. Haute elegance, haute refinement, haute guest list (Hi! Tina Turner and Elizabeth Debeki). Presenting salon style (up close and personal) at the Italian Embassy (marble for days), Armani flexed his couture muscles. Every piece was a masterclass in cut, fabrication, detail, refinement and taste. The show covered all the bases. There was effortless daywear for the pulled together trouser-suited Alpha-woman and a whole section devoted to devastatingly chic black velvet gowns. Armani has his moments of play – a fantastical pink fuchsia feather cape nearly stole the show. He also had his moments of levity, opening with a passage of precision cut jackets. Armani served-up high romance with full-skirted gowns made from hundreds of metres of gathered tulle and fashioned pretty pink princess dresses with nipped-in waists and generous skirts. There were countless red carpet “Wow!” moments. Models slunk through the embassy’s grand salons in sinuous columns encrusted with glimmering crystals and beads. What came to the fore was the discipline of Armani’s taste and his commitment to elegance. As he took his bow, the lithe 83 year old designer bent down to pick a fallen feather off his immaculate runway. He’s a perfectionist and with this collection it really showed.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans