There was a teenage riot outside the Théâtre de Chaillot on Tuesday evening. It was all frenzied energy as the kids waited for Armani Privé’s guest John Legend to arrive to the venue. Inside, though, the lights were dim and the chatter faint as the other guests made their way to their seats through the glossy Plexiglas catwalk and the carpet. The same contrast was present in the designer’s collection, half Alta Moda for Italian grandes dames, half punk. The Maestro called it Shocking, not only in a loving reference to his compatriot Elsa Schiaparelli (the invitation, carpet and first look were all that particular shade of pink), but also as a naughty wink to punk. Very un-Giorgio? Not when it was done in all subtlety.
The show opened with a peplum chenille and lurex jacket worn with black velvet trousers and Moroccan slippers. Pink was recurring in jackets, sequin embellishments and silk ombré dresses, but also in the jewellery and the models’ lipstick. The girls all wore disordered jet black boyish wigs that matched the shabby touches scattered throughout the collection. Here and there were voluminous club kid feather jackets, twisted chenille fringes, shredded embroideries…Even an oversized lurex sweater worn with cigarette trousers. Mixed with Armani classics like long structured blazers, fitted bustier dresses and long skirts, they effortlessly blended in with the brand’s codes. The finale explored this association further through a series of evening gowns with ombré motifs in cerulean blue, turquoise, purple and, of course, pink. Shocking at times, true; but mostly oh-so-Armani.