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Armani unleashes Indophile couture!

Giorgio Armani's new Prive couture line has been Inspired by Indian maharajas and queens, writes Jaydeep Ghosh.
None | By Jaydeep Ghosh (HT City), New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 31, 2007 03:37 PM IST

Thanks to Armani’s clever tie-up, we saw his Privé Collection sitting at our homes on the Internet. Together with, Armani made the couture show the first in history to stream live online.

“This is a personal challenge, a present to myself,” Giorgio Armani said of the Privé couture line he has been showing for five seasons.

“When I began, it was with a degree of humility — haute couture has a special place in the fashion world,” Armani said. Inspired by Indian maharajas, he said, he took those heroic bejewelled males who “dressed themselves for pleasure’s sake” — in all their “elegance, glamour and splendour” — and translated the details to women’s clothes.

Understated elegance: In typical Armani style, the Privé collection was understated and elegant with models shimmering down the runway in pearly creamy greige creations embellished with intricate Indian-inspired jewels and sari-esque drapes.

The ubiquitous churidaar-kurti on the ramp gave us a feeling unparalleled.

India assorted: The designer used the sari-drape, coquettish assortment of turbans, berets, and headpieces resembling, the Noor Jehan caps, the Shakuntala look of flower draped chignon and modesty’s ultimate symbol, the dupatta. No doubt the fashion-critics have labelled the show as ‘Maharani of Milan’ or ‘Giorgio’s Maharaja Magic’.

There was Cate Blanchett, in a strict, forties-shouldered black tuxedo skirt suit. And there was Katie Holmes in an apple-green bustier gown with something diaphanously sari-like going on at the side.

This was Armani’s best couture performance so far, and a clue was in Katie Cruise’s dress: It was about India. Or, rather, about Armani’s chic-ed up take on India.

Beyond the obvious: For days he worked with a new sense of ease and caught a sophisticated sense of the trend for tunic and leggings with translations of the traditional kurta.

Silky skirt suits, cocktail dresses and evening gowns were all exquisitely restrained, their slim, tapered lines embellished with spare sprinklings of Taj Mahal-meets-Art-Deco jewels.

Armani’s Indian odyssey was inspired by a trip to Rajasthan. Instead of being blown away by the bold and vibrant colours, his love for neutral shades focused on the masculine colours of dust beige and mud brown, adding pearl gray and soft green.

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