Giorgio Armani’s London fashion week show fizzes with playful touches –

It isn’t every day that two of fashion’s biggest names decide to show during London Fashion Week. First off was Donatella Versace who put Versus, her younger line, on the catwalk here – in the imposing sleek minimalism of Central St Martins Fashion College, with whose alumni she has often collaborated. A few hours later it was Giorgio Armani’s turn.

The two designers have often been pitched as each other’s arch nemesis , mainly because their respective aesthetics – his is less is more, hers is more is more – represent the polar opposites of Italian taste. But on one thing the agree: London is the source of all creativity, or so said Mr Armani when we chatted before tonight’s show.

That doesn’t mean he can’t critique the city’s style. Two nights ago, he was dining at Cipriani’s in London (“stupendo!”) when he couldn’t help but  wince at a group of women who walked in. “They just had on too much of…everything, ” he says. Except length. “They were wearing something a supermodel might wear, but without a supermodel’s legs”.

We’re chatting in a former tobacco wharf in East London, the site of the Emporio Armani show. Normally this would take place in the purpose-built Armani theatre in Milan. He last showed in London for a Bono- related charity event 11 years ago. But the Emporio Armani store on London’s Bond street has just had a major facelift. So London seemed a good audience this season.


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