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Suzy Menkes Международный редактор VOGUE

#SuzyMFW Giorgio Armani – Black Velvet

01 марта 2016

After watching the Oscars and sighing at the fashion mess that is the red carpet today, I looked with a benevolent eye at the Giorgio Armani fashion show – so elegant, so polished, so flattering to, and respectful of, women.

It all started with black velvet – the words written on the show notes with the designer’s flourishing signature. And there on the white runway slashed with black was that deep, dark, seductive shade, its qualities reflected in the voice of Peggy Lee singing “Fever”.

You never knew how much you loved black velvet until you saw it used here to give depth and richness to apparently simple tailored clothes. The fashion “story” was the return of trousers: slim, graceful, not at all mannish, any more than the “black ties” - actually pieces of black lacquer - were deliberately male. However, men were welcomed on the runway, looking a touch Bohemian in soft ponchos. 

This show was Armani in his element; making his statement but providing surprises. They included a wide coat, artistically splattered with a pattern. Or, by contrast, pretty pink, free-drawn florals as though an Impressionist painter had been let loose.

Actress Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé at the 88th Oscars ceremony © Getty Images

After seeing these black glamour gowns, sparking discreetly – in such contrast to Cate Blanchett’s crystal embellished, pale turquoise gown with deep V-neckline or Charlotte Rampling’s beaded brocade sheath dress with breast pockets – both by Armani Privé and big hits at the weekend Oscars – I had to ask Armani, Why black velvet?

“It’s beautiful, elegant, rich - and the only way you can get that light and depth,” he said.

Actress Charlotte Rampling in Armani Privé at the 88th Oscars ceremony © Getty Images  
Giorgio Armani ·