Paris Haute Couture: Armani Privé S/S 2013

Armani Privé deviates from the season of refined, delicate and gentle ways of dressing this spring. In return, an offering of structured and sculpted pieces, mixed with patterns and cuts sourced from the Far East appeals to those less likely to be found in chiffon or pale shades of blue.  Whilst the rest of the world might be in a new bloom, these clothes have already laid firm foundations for a new way of dressing in spring, ironically a breath of fresh air for the risk-takers in fashion. 

Modesty with lashings of charm hemmed the dresses, jackets, trousers and waistcoats in a close-knit show that was deemed seductive and alluring; key elements in the Armani signature. In a spectrum of design that enticed but didn’t reveal, asymmetrical silk dresses with a layered ruffle hem were worn with a thin, streamline waistcoat that curved around the body like a snake alongside two piece suits, embroidered with patterns and cut on a straight line. A seasonal favourite will be the return of the cigarette trousers and the curvaceous reinvention of the Fez in homage to the return of headwear – real fusion of shape and ethnic influence in modern design.

Colour was rife, but not as expected for spring. Muted jewel tones of purple, red, black, grey and blue looked like they’d been taken from raw elements, veins and debris removed and given a glossy finish to base the dresses and trouser suits. The shades chosen by Armani are subtle, so much so that multiple stripes and intricate embroidered patterns of red, gold, white and black appear more like the traditional wall hangings and rug patterns, than anything found at the circus.

One final touch was the art-deco influence, adding little details to the ensembles. The addition of the oversized toggles wrapped in leather and enamel plate finishes gave detail and separation to an outfit, alongside either the parting-curtain or straight cut of the jacket folds. The Turkish influence in colour and the geometric patterns were the perfect accompaniment to the modern accessories, keeping the collection varied. The toggles, pendants and bags were large but simply decorated, keeping the main focus on the equally simple clothing, held together with their tiny straps and skinny chains.

In an innovative move, Armani Privé approached spring with a stronger, more dominating perception of dressing and it’s refreshing to see how alternative trends are styled during the warmer months. Geometric patterns and rich colours will be the staples and long may the alternative approach continue – after all, staying in vogue can get tiresome, even in the season of new life.

Rosie Feenstra


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