Author(s): Kathy Phillips
Armani's style is elegance and sensual simplicity incarnate. 'Few names in fashion conjure so distinctive a look,' said Vogue. For Armani, design has always been about an easy, timeless grace, not constantly changing trends; clothes meant to compliment the body, not merely cover it. With his careful removal of extraneous internal structure, emphasis on the human form and the use of soft textiles and a muted colour palette, Armani changed the face of fashion from haute couture to the high street. He revolutionised the way both men and women looked and dressed, taking away formality and fuss as surely as he ripped out linings and interlinings. It's difficult to overstate just how different the fashion landscape was before Giorgio Armani. With his principles of style, simplicity and practicality, Armani deconstructed the fashion world. From inauspicious beginnings as a department store window-dresser, he funded his first company by selling his car. 40 years on, he oversees a multi-billion dollar empire with over 250 stores in 33 countries worldwide. One of the first designers to truly utilise the appeal of Hollywood, his seminal wardrobe for Richard Gere in the 1980 film American Gigolo helped cement his as the look of the late 20th century. His frequent collaborations with luminaries such as Martin Scorsese, Leonardo Di Caprio, Cate Blanchett and Lady Gaga have all contributed to making the shy, reserved but dedicated Armani the first superstar designer of the modern age. Vogue on Giorgio Armani charts the rise of a small town boy to a fashion monolith.
Kathy Phillips was Health and Beauty Director of British Vogue for seven years and is currently International Beauty Director for Conde Nast Asia. She has worked for many British magazines and newspapers, first as Fashion Editor with her own weekly page for The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday and then for YOU magazine as commissioning editor for the Style pages.