Armani Privé Couture Fall 2022

The dark blue sequins glimmered like you might imagine the Arctic Ocean under moonlight. The beaded sweaters and cardigans, marvels of a gossamer delicacy, scintillated as they rippled.

Here was a superb and mesmerizing Privé collection from Giorgio Armani, lavishly embellished, full of sinuous shapes and haute sophistication. A Hollywood stylist might simply call it a bonanza.

“Realism” was the first word in Armani’s press notes, which went on to express “a need to give space to sparkle and frivolity.…The way it was in the 1920s.” He name-checked Polish painter Tamara de Lempicka, praising her “rebellious elegance.”

Legions of designers have been predicting a Roaring ’20s post-pandemic, and the packed restaurants, jammed social calendar and gridlock traffic in Paris certainly support that idea, even as coronavirus cases are spiraling again in France.

But for the pure escapism that good fashion can offer, this haute couture show swept away troubles with its sleek shapes, gleaming surfaces, rich colors and patterns that registered as either Art Deco- or Eastern-inspired.

Black velvet has surfaced in almost every couture collection this week, and Armani carved his into strapless columns enlivened with a splash of color, or a shapely skirt suit. The evening gowns were slyly sexy, especially those with athletic tank style straps, and those carved out in the back.

Armani experimented with bigger volumes, looping netting into cloud-like capes or tea-cup shaped skirts, or adding a crinkled bustle around the hips. He added a pocket to the latter flourish, but you felt like his heart was elsewhere.

Cue the excellent tailoring, focused on his small-shouldered, cardigan styles that sometimes stretched almost to the knee, or sprouted shirt tails for a sporty touch, and offering another surface to trim in crystals.

Indeed, even the bridal look was pinned on pants, plus a sweater and vest delicately bedazzled. Armani knows how to read a room, and it roared with approval.

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