Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Runway Review: Armani Privé

Armani Privé was the bringing together of the glamour of the 30's with a heavy dash of chinoiserie. Armani told WWD this collection was an ode to a China, “that does not exist anymore." And perhaps this is where imagination takes over as a couture collection should. This is the China that was stylized, generalized and absolutely fascinating to the Western world. Models for most part were decked out in doll-like blunt cut bobs with heavy eyeliner.

Throughout the collection you can see the heavy importance of the high shoulder, which is shown on nearly every look. Slit necks/V-necks paired with slim below-the-knee skirts amped up the sex factor without looking trashy. Other key details include tassels, fringe, frog closures and heavy plastic jewelry reminiscent of wooden brackets on traditional Chinese architecture. Prints included fan motifs and very Asian inspired florals.

Lace continues to be a key fabric, whether it be in white, black or gold.

Colors for most part stayed within the realm of black, beige and greys with hits of red. However during the middle of the collection there were a few power brights shown in purples and yellows that really jumped out. Perhaps the purple alone would have been okay, but combined with the yellow was a bit overpowering.

The theme only gave way at the end, to create some red carpet worthy sparkly/frothy numbers.

Overall a very unified theme throughout but not sure about all the flipped out hems on peplums, sleeves and skirts. Some may argue that the big shoulder look might be difficult for the average woman to pull off, but I think it may be easier than the padded hips at Dior. Perhaps, the shoulders are best left to willowy frames? I do particularly like the first suit shown in grey at the very top left, as the billowy sleeves lend some softness to a predominantly precise cut/rigid looking collection.

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