My encounter with Mr Armani at Milan Fashion Week
Kimberley Foster writes...
Glamorous, wealthy and very crowded is how I would sum up my first experience of Milan Fashion Week. We were lucky to be invited by Samsung to witness the launch of the very first Georgio Armani luxury phone and with that came a visit to the Armani theatre, headquarters for the fashion house and a breathtaking piece of design by Japanese architect Tadao Anto.
Even more thrilling was the invite to the Armani spring/summer '08 show which took place on Monday afternoon and officially opened Milan Fashion Week.
As we fought our way through the super stylish crowd of press, buyers, socialites and other fashionable hangers-on we eventually made it inside where a sea of people mostly dressed in black, flooded the seat stands. Calm order was certainly not on the menu at this show.
Front row celebs included Samuel L Jackson, the soon-to-be co-host of next month's Fashion Rocks, director Spike Lee, Lady Helen Taylor and an array of Italian stars and sports players. It was clear that all of Italy wanted to see and be seen at this show which was split into two time slots - the first at 2pm and the second at 3pm.
From the moment the models stepped foot onto the black and white lit catwalk, it was obvious where Armani had turned to for his inspiration - to his summer home in southern Italy. 'Giorgio Gipsy' as The Telegraph's Hilary Alexander nicknamed it, presented peasant-girl inspired garments in crystals and beads. I particularly loved the delicately jewelled head scarves, bolero jackets and silk knotted shorts which reminded Shiny Shiny's Susi of Kate Moss's recent fashion statement. Eveningwear will be a red-carpet favourite among the likes of Cate Blanchett and co. Sparkles, plunging necklines and trains - it all screamed Hollywood.
On the runway, Armani model Agyness Deyn (pictured right) surprised us again with her latest hair colour - brunette. This is the second time that the Brit has recently coloured her hair, last week it was bright red for London Fashion Week. What colour will she pick next?
Following the best dinner I have ever eaten in my entire life we made our next move to the Armani after-party held at the designer's new nightclub Prive. In true fashionista form, we skipped the queues to go straight inside where groups of models, Italian soap stars and other Euro equivalents of Paris Hilton hung in packs drinking champagne and air-kissing each other. I don't think I've ever witnessed so much heavage (male cleavage) or beautiful people in one room before. It was truly a sight for sore eyes!
Then the moment arrived... when I was to meet the man himself - Giorgio Armani. Despite how ear-piercingly loud it was inside (blame the DJ), I managed to tell him how much I loved the show and could I request a photo. He happily obliged and I nearly passed out. He was so lovely and very approachable. He genuinely seemed to love the fact that everyone was having a great time and it just further proved how much some of the biggest designers really are some of the nicest people you could ever meet. I'm still pinching myself!
Stay tuned for our catwalk video of the Armani S/S '08 show!