Armani stages cinema-inspired fashion show at Venice Film Festival

Designer brought his travelling One Night Only act to the canal city

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Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani brought sparkle and stars to the canal city on Saturday with a One Night Only fashion show coinciding with the 80th Venice Film Festival.

The designer, 89, put on a playful, cinema-inspired show for his celebrity guests, which included actors Jessica Chastain, Sophia Loren, Sydney Sweeney and Rege-Jean Page and filmmakers Ang Lee and Ava DuVernay, who were among the famous faces in the front row.

The Armani Prive collection was built around harlequin-patterned couture creations, often paired with ruffled collars.

Dresses, tops, trousers and headpieces shimmered with sequins. Splashes of bright blues, greens and pinks were added to the largely black ensembles, with silhouettes skin-tight or floaty.

The Venice Film Festival has lacked its usual star power this year with many Hollywood A-listers forced to shun the event because of the actors' strike.

However, Armani, one of Italy’s greatest postwar designers, had no problem filling the city's old armoury with glitz and glamour.

Armani’s One Night Only fashion spectacles have previously been held in cities such as Tokyo, New York, London and Dubai.

The Dubai show was held at the foot of the Burj Khalifa in 2021, with the Dubai Fountains providing a suitably dramatic backdrop. The event coincided with the 10-year anniversary of the Armani Hotel Dubai and was a manifestation of the designer’s close ties with the emirate.

Coldplay’s Chris Martin performed at the after-party.

“In many ways, Dubai is the opposite of what is normally associated with Armani, a kind of reverse image of the things I hold dear: It is highly visible, ostentatious and frenetic,” Armani told The National then.

“But there is also an aspect that is very Armani and resembles my character, a quality we have in common: It is without doubt a place focused on the future, fast moving, where the imagination knows no bounds. Nothing and nowhere can be compared with the wonder of Dubai, conceived and raised with the sole purpose of astonishing the world.”

Updated: September 04, 2023, 3:29 AM