Italian designer Giorgio Armani has found himself under the spotlight after claiming that the fashion industry was “raping” women with their short-term trends and sex-driven marketing campaigns. “We say that women are being raped in a corner. Women continue to be raped by designers,” Armani commented during a backstage news conference in Milan. Pressed to clarify, he remarked: “Women can be raped in various ways. Throwing her under a stairwell or suggesting she dresses in a certain way – for me, that is raping a woman.”
The words were strong and drew sharp criticism, prompting Armani’s press office to state that the 85-year-old designer was speaking metaphorically and passionately about a direction in luxury fashion that he sees as damaging to women’s image.
Armani has been dressing women for 45 years. One of his first design successes was a softened suit jacket, a creation that women of that time say was immensely liberating in a way that is difficult to comprehend in the spandex era. He is one of the few designers who, when discussing his collections, makes clear he takes different body shapes into consideration.
Armani says, several times, that designers are “raping” women by making them dress inappropriately for their age etc, and I would love to chalk this one up to an age/language/culture barrier but uhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHH https://t.co/lHJrItfudK
— Tyler McCall (@eiffeltyler) February 21, 2020
The exploitation of women in fashion imagery is not a new phenomenon, far from it. And I do think Armani has tried always to be respectful of women in his work. But the word “rape” is very charged, in any language. https://t.co/wVuM75omjG
— @Booth (@Booth) February 21, 2020
In that vein, the Emporio Armani line took a stand against trends, targeting youthful dressers who are not necessarily that young. For the upcoming fall and winter, he crafted a range of jackets, from long and flowing to short and pleated. Trousers were dressed up with silk draping. The show closed with shimmering cocktail dresses that turned on elegant ruffles and floral constructions. The palette was dark blue and black, as well as deeper shades of peacock blue and emerald green.
“Trends are nothing,” Armani said. “I am trying to improve the woman who is living now.” His recipe is simple: black works for everyone. “It helps women to acquire allure,” he explained. Great legs can carry short skirts. Not so great legs, “a longer skirt with a little movement helps”. Leggings are to be avoided for anyone with “a slightly accentuated behind”. The pearls of wisdom might seem like common sense to people who aren’t in the throes of runway trends. But Armani knows their power, “I want to give full freedom to women,” he says. “If they have some common sense, and they do, they know how to manage these possibilities,” he affirms.
(With inputs from AP)
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