July 08, 2014 Paris
The buzz around the Couture shows in Paris has been about young customers. Apparently nothing says youth like a pair of haute shorts. They were a major building block of Armani's collection. But so were the A-line jackets swinging pertly off pointy little shoulders, and they were young, too. Likewise the careless confidence of breasts bared under polka-dotted tulle. And the fur that wasn't fur (organza) and the mohair that wasn't mohair (nylon).
But Armani wasn't really chasing the youth vote. Another key factor in his collection was the huge swathes of net around head and torso. They blurred the silhouette, creating an air of mystery for clients who might be of the vintage of Sophia Loren, serenely seated front-row-center. And Kati Nescher's finale moment, in a huge ball of organza atop a fishtail dress in silk crepe, echoed across the decades to Norma Desmond. That's where the past and future collide.
It was the same with Armani's front row. Aside from Loren, the entirely random cast of characters included Juliette Binoche, Jared Leto, Kate Hudson, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Pink. "I can't wait to get my hands on that red dress with the black back," the latter enthused. "I love to sparkle."