Giorgio Armani S/S 2019
Giorgio Armani is certainly the hardest working out of all the great designers. Plus, of course Karl Lagerfeld. No detail escapes his attention and everything that happens in his company goes via his desk and is signed off by him. Seriously everything. We will talk about his master tailoring class with double-breasted jackets in a moment but first we have a telling anecdote for you.
Preparing for the Fanatic Feelings/Fashion plays Football exhibition for Pitti Uomo this Spring, we had reached out to Mr. Armani who was the first designer to have used a football player in his fashion advertising campaigns: British goalkeeper David James was lensed by Norman Watson in 1993 already. Then followed by many more like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka. Armani even made a Beckham jacket. We asked for Shevchenko, Kaka and James images from the Armani advertising archives.
Immediately a small team led by Cecilia Dessalles d’Epinoix was dispatched to work on the project and check the rights with the photographers. In true master of the details fashion, Armani approved the selection but also wanted to add an image of Francesco Totti topless and holding a football from his book Faces of Sport. Not that it fit our theme but we were so deeply impressed by this diligence that we added the image to the show, which will run until the end of July. That’s all that needs to be said when people sometimes say they see Armani slowing down.
Armani will show his Emporio Armani men’s collection on a co-ed runway in September and hence had more time to fully dedicate himself to this Spring/Summer 2019 men’s collection and it showed.
The tailoring news?
Armani always liked the double-breasted jacket but this time he built his entire show around it. Showing it in terrific light linens and silk/cotton mixes in earthy shades, he tweaked the shoulders and left the jackets unbuttoned so the garment looked like a blouson or even something to wear to the beach. Feather light and easy.
Armani opened with a duo of tough brown leather clad gents with hats, which set the tone for a strong masculine message. It looks like he has also updated his casting with the right gang of in demand French and English boys and not his preferred schmaltzy Italian types.
It shows that Armani and his gang spend a lot of time on islands and yachts. All were deeply tanned and better, they brought the island spirit to the show set, where the back wall was replaced with floating white curtains, which brought a relaxed holiday vibe to the Teatro and the clothes.
What about the logo?
We immediately noticed a new logo projected on the wall of the show space and emblazoned one some of the navy knitwear. Logo redesign at Armani now? Not at all, Armani simply went into his archive and brought back a fresh looking round design of his GA logo. Strong!
Fendi S/S 2019
Of course, Fendi is a big brand. Designed by Karl Lagerfeld for more than 50 years, the Roman fur maker even has a listing on the Paris Haute Couture schedule now. The men’s collection has become a pioneer in using ironic takes on its logo and name. Yes, the letter F is the starting point for a lot of strong words in the English language like F… So Fendi has been fun, frivolous, fanatic, furry, fancy and this time the set spelled out the word Fiend; Inserting an i after the F or leaving out the last i, a giant neon sign on the set telegraphed Fendi Fiend.
All this was cooked up by artist Nico Vascellari who is having a big summer with his gigantic exhibition entitled Revenge at Rome’s MAXXI museum. This key piece of his work was first exhibited at the 2007 Venice Biennale making him one of the few closely watched Italian artists with international scale.
ascellari also fathered twin boys with Fendi Men’s designer Silvia Fendi’s daughter Delfina Delettrez who has been making a name for herself as jewelry designer. With little sleep at home, Vascellari still managed to put an artist stamp on this runway.
The new look?
Perforating nearly everything was the motto. Laser cut squares on bombers and coats brought a welcome lightness to the show.
Devil in the house?
Fortunately, Vascellari was not preoccupied to give a new spin to the Fendi logo. Something, which has been done, a bit too much by the Roman house lately: Interlocking F’s and all. No, a lot of the looks featured a sketch of a red mini devils all interlocked on shirts and outerwear.
What’s a Jokarl?
Clearly, when you clocked half a century at a house as chief designer, you should be idolized. And that’s the case at Fendi. So Vascellari introduced Karl’s sun glassed face as card game icon joker for some sweatshirts.
The nice surprise?
Usually Fendi shows like to remind you that the house is famed for animal skins in all shapes and sizes. So it was refreshing to see very little of that yesterday and a focus on clothes.