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Giorgio Armani Prive Spring 2012 haute couture show in Paris

The Italian designer Giorgio Armani opened conventionally; his "non-colors" this season included biscuit and golden cake silk gros grain blazers and tapered lame trousers. Drastic peplums jackets with off-beat dimples and asymmetrical skirts announced that classicism was the last thing on his mind in this show on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Think of it as Sci-Fi ecological fashion, where moss green crocodile jackets look like they have slowly enveloped the model, or olive silk jacquard skirts have grown around the waist. It could have been a mess, but Armani is such a great tailor that the horticultural construction worked.
Things proceeded to get more avant garde with a bizarre honey-combed reptile motif, eroded pathway tropical prints, used twisted one-strap columns and swirling crinolines. Things did get a little out of hand, and surprisingly for Armani - a designer noted for his discreet panache - all very attention seeking.
But his smartest trick - using mesh fabrics in stunning boleros, floor-length skirts and super-hero jackets with peak shoulders - made this an intriguing collection.

"Three dimensional, yes, but also trying to imagine a world that still does not yet exist," the designer said with a smile backstage.
No one likes to admit it in Paris, but Milan-based Armani is the defining designer of our era. His entre-deux-guerres silhouette, visual authority and polished glamour have made him fashion's most influential figure.

Which is what made this show so unexpected. The clothes were pretty hit and miss - spider like tentacles on one outfit looked like they would strangle the poor model. But that's what happens when you think outside the box, which Armani has done more than any other couturier in Paris this week.
Giorgio Armani Prive Spring 2012 haute couture show in Paris

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