Emporio Armani: Building bridges at headquarters
Giorgio Armani skipped any physical presentation during Milan Fashion Week this season, but that did not prevent his video display for Emporio Armani, unveiled online Thursday morning, from packing plenty of oomph and punch.
Armani named the video Building Dialogues and shot it in his Milan headquarters, a former Nestle chocolate factory reinvented back in 2001 by master architect Tadao Ando first as a theater. Later, the designer extended this fulcrum of his Armani fashion empire across the street into Armani Silos, his acclaimed art and fashion exhibition space.
Opening with drone shots of the complex, Armani had his highly mixed cast – a dozen models and as many actors, dancers and creative - move around the extended complex, capturing them in a skywalk connecting two buildings.
Armani’s famous non-color palette of chalk, putty, stone and light mud have rarely looked better seen here before the elegantly austere Rationalist style buildings providing an ideal setting for this spring summer 2021 collection.
Occasionally, phalanxes of dashing models paused ensemble, their hands raised before a massive rising sun that began as bright orange and later turned to cobalt blue as it took over an interior courtyard.
Armani next summer wants gals to dress in Emporio black and white Holstein print rawhide jackets and blousons; perfectly cut black-and-gray chalk-stripe suits; halter neck summer frocks; and mannish deep gorge pants suits.
With the camera constantly moving Giorgio showed guys in perforated leather jerkins; loose-weave knit tanks; dandy and dashing linen suits or sleeveless cotton blazers.
Pre-show, Armani said in a release that due to health restrains regarding travelling he wanted to create an alternative form of show, one “consisting of different talents including models, young and upcoming actors, singers, dancers and those pertaining to the world of the brand… to reach as many of the public as possible.”
His cool gang included a gyrating Germain Louvet, a star dancer from the Opéra de Paris; Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen, star of the series The Rain, and nouveau DJ Sita Abellan. At one stage, the French twins Larry and Laurent Bourgeois were moon walking and crumping across the interiors of Silos. Balletic break dancers in contrasting looks: a rock-star, Emmy winner check black and gray check blazer or a knit deconstructed Beckham jacket in ecru and white.
An all-white section of faille and techy see-through and creased linens looked perfect - languid tailoring at its best. And in a witty twist a fetish turquoise-haired model with green nail varnish got passionate with a cool Lothario in a moody slate gray suit – embracing in Ando’s mini interior pond.
Time lapse photography of light moving across the austere putty-hued walls added to the sense of assured ease that is the heart of Armani. Directed by Leandro Manuel Emede and Nicolo Cerioni, Building Bridges was a thoroughly professional video that felt completely in synch with the Emporio aesthetic. And also introduced fans who have never been to Milan to Armani’s headquarters – whose blend of Italian graphics; Japanese design and technological optimism are a great physical statement of this unique designer’s remarkable story. Today, Armani is the proud owner of the largest and most important fashion brand on the planet still fully owned by its founder. Respect.
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