Dazzling silk jacquard, silk gazar, satiny headscarves and embroidered Swarovski crystals glistened as almost 50 couture outfits glided down the runway. When Italian fashion mogul Giorgio Armani decides to throw an event, you know it's going to be a big deal.
The paparazzi had a field day at the entrance of his couture show and private dinner, snapping Zhang Ziyi, Sophie Marceau and Paloma Faith, who were joined by an international crowd of more than 400 VIPs, clients and members of the press at the Armani Privé show at the Palais de Tokyo.
The catwalk show aside, this one-night-only event was also the last stop of their travelling archival "Armani Eccentrico" exhibition, featuring some of Armani's most illustrious creations over the years. Then it was a sit-down dinner with all 400-plus guests created by Michelin-star chef Davide Oldani - an indulgence, even for this uber-famous brand. The spring-summer 2014 couture collection began by focusing on the elegant classic Armani jacket and wide-leg georgette trousers. Some may find Armani's aesthetic conservative, but he has refined his distinctive look over decades regardless of current trends in fashion.
Long, lean, textured jackets, criss-crossed lines and big, bold stripes made for a strict sense of masculinity, yet the long, fluid skirts, fabric stoles and sparkling gemstones adorning entire outfits were clearly an expression of womanly glamour. Tightly wrapped headscarves and dresses and jackets with arabesque motifs and patterns were a nod to ethnic and folksy influences. For fans of his strict tailoring, this collection had versatility - possibly taking them from daytime meetings to embassy balls.