Mr Armani with models dressed in the Prive collection (above)
If you think all the fashion action happens in Paris, then think again. Its no secret that China is the new fashion superpower and to prove it every fashion brand under the sun has decided to throw large scale fashion extravaganzas in the country for the past month and a half. Most fashion editors have been averaging at least two trips a week, with each event trying to outdo the next. Last week, the madness culminated in the event to end all events – Giorgio Armani’s One Night Only in Beijing.
The entrance to the venue (above)
Many of you may remember that the original event was scheduled to run last May but was cancelled following the Japan earthquake. This time round Mr Armani was adamant that it go ahead and be even bigger and better. A crowd of 1,000 people attended including international journalists, VIPs (400 came from Hong Kong alone) and high profile celebrities, including Tina Turner who was visiting the country for the first time and Mary J Blige who performed after the fashion show.
The digital stage (above)
When you have so many events happening all the time, its hard to make yours stand apart from the rest but Armani managed to do just that. The show and party were held at the New Tank, a massive water tank and industrial building smack in the centre of the city’s famed 798 Arts District. While the outer part of the building was transformed into a sleek lounge for the after-party, the show venue itself was at the building’s centre and comprised of a circular runway surrounded by stadium seating. Above it were a series of video screens that kept flashing different scenes ranging from the streets of Beijing to the sequin detailing on the clothes. Armani may be 77 years old, but his finger is always on the pulse so I was not surprised to see this digital element added to the show.
The finale (above)
The main event of course was the fashion show which for the first time ever included looks from Armani’s three lines: Emporio Armani, Giorgio Armani and Prive. There were more than 100 edited looks, but the highlight was undoubtedly the Prive (couture) collection which is rarely shown outside of Paris. At the end of the show Armani unveiled 15 new looks inspired by China – think gowns with embroidered dragons and feather accents on the shoulders. It may sound costumey but there were beautiful and intricate in their craftsmanship. All in all, the event was a true testamant to one of fashion’s greatest legends.
A closer look at the clothes (top) and Mary J Blige takes to the stage (above)