Newspaper article International New York Times

Blue, Blue, the World Is Blue

Newspaper article International New York Times

Blue, Blue, the World Is Blue

Article excerpt

Emporio Armani reveled in the color, especially a cornflower hue, while Fausto Puglisi flashed gold and Fay reprised a Peanuts motif.

I only vaguely remember the plot of the 1993 Krzysztof Kieslowski movie "Blue," part of his Three Colors trilogy, but the cinematographic mood it conjured, with a grieving heroine played by Juliette Binoche experiencing the world washed with that color at moments when she felt most disconnected and isolated, has not faded.

A different breed of auteur than Kieslowski, Giorgio Armani also chose blue to infuse the Emporio collection shown Thursday morning at his minimalist amphitheater on Via Bergognone. Though he cited the warm shade of cornflowers in particular ("There are no jewels more becoming to a lady," declared the older Mr. Emerson in E.M. Forster's "A Room with a View"), the space was bathed in industrial blue light that when supplemented by the glow of the large crowd's electronic devices -- pecked at with increasing frenzy as the delay in start time stretched to 45 minutes -- gave this spectator the uneasy, far-from-home sensation of having been plunked down somewhere on Planet X.

The 52 looks presented -- one for each week of the year, as if Mr. Armani, having made clothes, cosmetics, furniture and restaurants, were now also seizing subliminal control of the iCalendar -- were a skillful if somewhat automatic-feeling combination of cottony, relaxed fabrics with technological synthetics.

Some models came down by twos and threes, like tennis partners or Austin Powers fembots. (How long can it be until someone installs a conveyor belt in place of a runway?) Cuffs on shorts and pants glittered, there were stripes of every stripe, and a hanging-chad cocktail dress seemed ideal for the 2016 national Democratic convention.

In a generation raised on the credo "image is everything," there is still a young customer who doesn't want to have to think too much about what she wears, and Mr. Armani and his creative teams do the work for her with time-tested, Sub-Zero efficiency. …

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