Milan FW: Armani, D&G, Armani retro *pics*

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    Pic #1:
    Giorgio Armani usually draws some of the biggest celebrities to his events. The glamorous Cate Blanchett, an Oscar nominee, took a front row seat at the Armani Prive couture show in Paris last month.

    But at the designer’s women’s ready-to-wear show in Milan today, star wattage was low. Tina Turner was the biggest headline figure present — but she’s past her celebrity peak by a good decade. Another local Italian actress, Martina Colombari, pushed past to get inside the show as people in the crowd wondered who she thought she was — and who she actually was.

    The earlier Oscar date this year, which falls between the Milan and Paris fashion weeks, bodes well for the French capital. Hollywood’s stars can take their Oscar victory lap at the Paris fashion shows next week, where houses like Louis Vuitton and Chanel are known for having the biggest bold-face names in attendance.

    Pic #2:

    Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are known for neither understatement nor punctuality.

    So when they started their D&G runway presentation of leopard-printed chiffon outfits (with the occasional pair of hot pants) 50 minutes later than the 1 p.m. scheduled time, nobody was particularly surprised.

    The fashion photographers, who sit at the end of the runway in a cramped gallery, were audibly annoyed as the clock hit 1:45 p.m., and began whistling and clapping for the show to begin. It eventually did in true D&G form: scantily clad models stepped out in glittery platform shoes to the tune of “Disco Inferno.”

    Runway shows typically start late, but 50 minutes late is on the unfashionably late side — especially in Milan, where most of the D&G show-goers had to cross town to get to the 2 p.m. Giorgio Armani show.

    Guests raced out of their seats, and headed to their next show, but many were disappointed: Armani, who is more punctual, started his 2:00 show at 2:30.

    Fashion consultant Sue Rolontz scrambled to get to Armani, and made it to her seat 30 seconds before the show began. “It was a close call,” she said, “but this is not the first one or the last.”

    Designers in Milan and Paris often like to show their collections in their own exhibition spaces, rather than in a centralized location. That means the fashion crowd is always scrambling in traffic to get from one place to another. This year is no exception.

    Pic #3:

    Mr. Armani was an early leader in celebrity dressing. Many of the outfits worn by his famous clients — such as Sharon Stone, Leonardo DiCaprio and Richard Gere — are on display in one room decorated by a red carpet and a backdrop of continuously looping film clips on a large video-screen.
  2. Fashion shows always start late, approx 40 minutes late ... it's when it hits the 45 minute mark that people start going crazy. That happened at Neil Barrett, who started an hour and ten minutes late. Vera Wang was afterwards. It was a bit hectic.
  3. I have some Armani items from years ago and they are still very wearable. No need to buy new!