MILAN, Italy — The Shape of Colour was the title Giorgio Armani chose for his show on Sunday. It reminded me of the neurological phenomenon called synaesthesia. People prone to the condition can hear colour or see sound. Armani’s show notes implied something similar: “Emotions that turn into colours”.
With this collection, the emotion that seemed most germane was a cumulative melancholy, pale and wistful. Many of the clothes had a sheen, like moonlight on water or flesh through cellophane. Ophelia could have been the presiding spirit, so often were the models’ limbs visible through watery skirts and pants. Their tousled demeanour also suggested altered states.
It actually worked as an antidote to the gigantism of Armani’s Emporio presentation at Linate Airport the other night. Here was something much more internal and delicate, “fluid and fickle” (those notes again). The footwear was particularly fascinating, especially in ruched plastic. Shoes from a fairytale.
Fairytales aren’t something you would ever have associated with Armani in his glory days. He would never have allowed himself the tubular capelet that appeared here. Once or twice, I found myself thinking of the great Hollywood costumer Adrian, which would be in keeping with the boy Giorgio’s love of movies.
But the truest looks in the show were a couple of languid, single-buttoned trouser suits. Line them up beside the fringed showgirl jumpsuit and there was no contest.