By T. J. Sidhu
MILAN, Italy (theface.com) – Giorgio Armani SS22 was an all smiles affair. No, really – the models were actually smiling as they paced the runway one after another. It’s a rarity in the world of Big Fashion, but given that the Italian brand was showing at Milan’s historic Via Borgonuovo 21 for the first time in 20 years, perhaps there was something in the air… and not just the smell of a sweet, sweet comeback. The venue, which acts as Armani HQ, has been the backdrop for some of the label’s most memorable shows and the result was a suitable return to a house known not only for ultra sex, but core family values.
The collection, titled Métissage (crossbreeding), was a journey through Armenia. A few years ago, it was reported as a little-known fact that Giorgio Armani, quintessentially Italian, had a connection to the Middle Eastern country through his parents, who fled the Ottoman Empire to Italy in 1915 during the Armenian Genocide. Rarely giving interviews, the designer is notoriously tight-lipped on his personal life. And so the collection looks at nomadic tropes with clothes fit for exploring far-and-wide: nautical rope tied around waists and loose silk making up balloon trousers.
Movement was an ongoing theme, with flat shoes worn for comfort, either open-toed or laced around the foot for support. Jackets were super soft, open and elongated in the middle and, unlike the big trews, tops were small, compact, with thoughtful cut-outs added here and there for some light relief in the sun. Accessories, too, nodded to travel: large totes and crocheted shoulder bags for packing essentials.
Following the light nature of the collection, evening wear was made mostly using tulle: frothy, seemingly weightless gowns in a somewhat fairytale colour code; pinks, silvers, purples and lilacs layered and melting on the skin, with delicate embroidery scattered throughout like a balmy holiday night sky. Ahhh.