Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Armani puts classic elegance on couture catwalk

Models cross a "Moon River" catwalk in style as Giorgio Armani showcases his latest couture collection.

PARIS, FRANCE (JULY 7, 2009)REUTERS -
The fashion elite gathered in Paris on Tuesday (July 7) to see the unveiling of Giorgio Armani's latest haute couture collection.
The show was held at the Palais de Chaillot, also known as the Trocadero, which crowns the Chaillot hill in Paris. The building's architecture was designed for the 1937 world exhibition and is also famous for its spectacular view of the Eiffel tower, facing it on the other bank of the Seine river.

But the view on the catwalk was equally impressive for fashion followers.

The show began with classic Armani cuts, and clean tailoring for women in suits.

It unfolded to reveal cocktail dresses in beautiful fabrics with added bling.

As models in identical short and jet black haircuts marched on the catwalk, the crowd applauded the designer's creations that were covered in sequins, crystals and fringe.

A finale that saw them sway to the sounds of "Moon River" included four body-hugging champagne-coloured pant suits entirely covered in transparencies with jewelled detailing.

Actresses Cate Blanchett and Megan Fox were among the celebrities at the glitzy show which offered an alternative to the sombre shadows hanging over the luxury fashion industry in recent months.

Giorgio Armani's core profit fell 14.6 percent last year as the recession took its toll on the world of fashion.

Armani, who is in his 70s, said in a statement in May "there is no doubt that 2008 has been a difficult year for the fashion and luxury market."

Core profit or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was 303.2 million euros (404 million USD). But revenues edged up slightly, boosted by a strong rise in China.

The Italian designer, known for his classically elegant lines and muted colours in clothes, said consolidated revenues rose 1.5 percent to 1.62 billion euros.

Armani also opened 50 new stores last year, bringing the group's retail network to 539 stores.