I would say that Giorgio Armani is the man of the moment. One of the designers who changed the face of fashion (and who I can honestly name as one of the two designers, the other one being Ralph Lauren, I best resonate to when it comes to personal style inspiration) is celebrating his 40th anniversary in fashion this year. This is also the year he is releasing a long waited for book that has been postponed for September. In the meanwhile, the brand has been presenting a wonderful introspection into the world of Armani on their official website. I’ve been enjoying every bit of it, as I find it very revealing and important for understanding and appreciating the designer’s road to success and his creative genius.
Giorgio Armani doesn’t just design clothes. He tells stories. And photography has been used to great effect to narrate those stories. In 1988, before this became a common practice for fashion brands, Giorgio Armani launched an innovative magazine, Emporio Armani Magazine, part editorial endeavor, part catalogue, an engaging communication instrument between the brand and its customers. It soon became a true identifier of Emporio Armani and gave the brand a voice and a platform to showcase the breath and width of a unique vision.
For his editorials and ad campaigns, Giorgio Armani chose to work with up-and-coming photographers, who managed to capture his new, modern style, what was in fact Italian fashion at its most innovative hour, the 80’s, and for which the designer is largely responsible. Aldo Fallai, Peter Lindbergh, Norman Watson, Jaques Olivar and Enrique Badulescu were the ones who helped define Armani’s universe which revolved around a new, different, unconventional style: proposing the feminine-masculine game, the power look for women, the softened, deconstructed lines for men, a style that has evolved and strengthened in time, playing with proportions and softness, shapes and volumes.
Some of my very favorite Armani photography belongs to Aldo Fallai, who, together with the designer, created some of the most powerful advertising campaigns of the last decades. His photographs, which were mostly shot in the Armani restrained colours, white, grey and sand, seem to have succeeded to capture best the Armani spirit. The kind of fashion photography that goes beyond the clothes to portray the feelings, moods, places and times of a whole society and generation.
photos: Aldo Fallai and Peter Lindbergh (photo #6), most of them via Uomo Classico