Even at 79, Giorgio Armani can still strap on his boxing gloves and go to the mat. After his fall collection in Milan yesterday, which Anna Wintour very visibly skipped as she moved on to Paris, he held a post-show press conference and took no prisoners.
Never mind that La Wintour has repeatedly taken a less-than-adoring view of the Milan collections and that his was the only major show on that last day of the Milan calendar. Point is, no one snubs the industry titan; he was going to mouth off.
And it didn't end with the Vogue editor-in-chief and recently anointed artistic director of all Condé Nast magazines. Armani's vituperative rant also ensnared other Italian designers and the Camera della Moda itself. WWD has the blow-by-blow. Here are the best bits...
“There are some who prefer to snub the Giorgio Armani show and go to Paris...She [Wintour] took an airplane, dumped Mr. Armani and went to Paris.”
“When we decided to show on the last day, other big brands were involved. But currently this is an empty day. Is this protecting Italian fashion? Where is the Camera? I rejoined it, but I can always exit again. I can just put in a phone call.”
“Why should I always be the moron [translated from an expletive] penalized because of a person, who, for better or for worse, like or dislike it, is powerful? I feel penalized."
"She said she was sending her people. But if you go to see your dentist and he puts you in the hands of his assistant, what’s your reaction? They told me ‘She went to see the Privé in Paris; she has no time to see the ready-to-wear in Milan.’ She is influential and powerful. But, perhaps, I'm influential as well.”
“I wanted to bring an owl with me this morning” [referring to Dolce & Gabbana’s show theme]. “I think that the exaltation of the idea that designers can be just completely free to express their fantasy is really dangerous. I’m very happy that others do what they do. I respect my colleagues. I’m happy with what I do, but I feel like a black swan in doing clothes with a function and with an attention to the commercial aspect."
“It’s very easy to do a V-neck dress with a bold print" [possibly referring to Prada]. "It’s more difficult to make a suit or a jacket look new. It’s easier to freewheel."
"Nobody is courageous enough to say that if the fashion industry wants to be supported by the Italian government, we have to offer a product which is not only smoke and mirrors but that has a functionality and can bring economic results. Otherwise, fashion loses its credibility."