In one of the most creative and hip neighborhood of Milan, crawling with contemporary museums, independent boutiques, post-industrial exhibition areas and pop-up stores one of the most famous Italian designers decided to create a museum dedicated to his brilliant career.
Located near the Navigli, an area of trendy bars and restaurants where to get a glimpse of the real milanese life, Armani/Silos offers visitors the unique chance to enter the designer’s head and live an unforgettable journey through style.
Inside and outside the museum there is a coherent monologue, a complete experience of a man’s consistent vision of lifestyle, architecture and fashion. Every detail of the exhibition is studied with immense care, giving to the eyes breathtaking views of incredible and perfect compositions.
Forty years ago Giorgio Armani created a new fashion identity, defying the passing of time with subtle shades, smooth fabrics and deconstructed jackets. A fragile line between masculine and feminine, between rigor and indulgence, which unveiled the secret of modern seduction.
At Armani/Silos visitors can admire a glimpse of the designer’s world and how his vision of pure measure and timeless aesthetic has changed radically our way of thinking the general dress codes.
Built in 1950 for storing cereals, today Armani/Silos is a temple of fashion, with its 4500 square-meter space, four floors and a unique and innovative archive.
“I decided to call it Silos because this building used to store food, which is something we all need to live. For me, like food, clothes are part of life.”
Armani’s collection counts 600 clothes, 200 accessories, from the 1980′s until the most recent fashion shows. The path structure is based on important themes, which has inspired the designer throughout his career. Armani wants to tell visitors the stories and the aesthetic dynamics which has contributed to shape his great sense of style and his unforgettable signature.
There’s no talented man, no intelligent sensitive woman, no actor, no actress who has not entered the Armani universe, starting from Diane Keaton. She received the Oscar for her role in Annie Hall, in 1978, wearing an Armani jacket. Keaton was the first star to identify herself with the partly boyish, partly New Woman look.
Women and men were seeking a new kind of freedom in their clothes, a relaxed tone, a subtly unconventional statement.
There’s always been a strong connection between Armani and Hollywood. Tons of celebrities chose the Armani style both on screen and on the red carpet, becoming pleasant friends and loyal fans.
As simple, pure and clean-cut than possible. This is what fashion means to Armani.
Right from the designer’s first collection, the celebrated Armani jacket wrapped the waist, conveying a modernist impulse through the essential pattern of the fabric.
The exploration of the jacket, which is an Armani must-have for everyday life, represents the experimental concept of androgyny, applied to women’s silhouette, which expresses understated, discreet femininity and elegance.
Renowned for the natural colors and the reinterpretation of traditional male fabrics, Armani loves emphasizing a certain worn-out appearance to jackets and trousers.
New technologies allowed the designer to apply innovative techniques, while creating garments and fabrics. The blending of precise male tailoring and soft female dressmaking elements gave life to unexpected and fluid daywear style.
Floral and feminine/sexy are two concepts that Armani has radically reinterpreted, overturning traditional gender codes in fashion. Jackets, pantsuits and the famous power suit, were all symbol of a strong woman’s emancipation, but Armani was also able to evoke pure femininity, through floral prints and transparencies.
Armani reveals his attraction for color-schemes that blend dabs of pink, blue and green with his favorite hues, black and beige.
The strong influence of non-western cultures can be seen in his dresses recalling African kaftans, Indian pyjamas and skirts, Punjaby collarless shirts, long Pakistani tunics and draped skirts, inspired by the Southeast Asian sarongs.
Armani is known for his neutral color palette, as well as for mixing grey with beige, giving birth to a new shade, greige.
His use of black, either total black or black matched with primary hues, has received less attention from critics. His black is at the same time material and colored, shiny and smooth and other times opaque. Matched with white it can give life to geometric patterns, but it can also be used to give an iconic structure to tuxedo, turning it into a feminine garment, breaking conventions in a sensual and provocative way.
The rigor of black is also toned down with tiny motifs, giants patterns or bold graphics.
The Armani’s red is inspired in equal parts by nature and culture to create color palette and monochromatic paintings on fabrics. Shades of blue, from dark midnight to purplish, are a recurring theme as well.
Laying on back-lighted tables, the collection of accessories is a pure joy for the eyes.
The surfaces recall immense blocks of iced irregular cubes, which dramatically display geometric squared clutch, ethnic, bold necklaces, huge bracelets, and shiny and glossy killer-heels shoes.
Basic hues and geometric shapes play with metals and giant cabochons, giving to bags a surprising and unexpected strength, while jewels powerfully gain space with their irregular shapes and they lead the visitor’s eye to observe the alteration of the chromatic color palette.
Unconventional masterpieces displayed as works of art give a touch of sophisticated poetry to the entire visitor’s path.
Layers and layers of sheer fabrics – organza, chiffon, tulle – showcased in subtle hues – soft white matched with hints of pink to create sensual nuances of nude, pearly reflections, platinum and silver transparencies- add an ethereal dimension to Armani’s clothes. Here is a nature, which seems to consist of light and transparency.
The designer creates extravagant yet discreet jewel-like garments. He often adorns skirts and bodies with an intricate pattern of beads concealed beneath a thin layer of sheer tulle, softening the effect of the decoration and the feeling of nudity, adding a touch of mysterious elegance. These clothes are iridescent.
Our contemporary fashion culture need archives to reveal the creative process; they are places filled with wonder – initiatives to stimulate research and which provide opportunities for representing and reviewing the past and its important moments, in order to help shaping the future.
With Digital Archive project, Armani opens his personal archive to a wider public, giving access to a vast source of ideas and enabling visitors to reconstruct all the phases of the designer’s creative process and working methods.
The archive contains approximately 1000 outfits categorized by season and collection and images of 2000 garments and accessories, as well as numerous sketches, fashion shows and back stage videos, images taken from the Emporio Armani Magazine and iconic advertising photos.
It’s rare to find such as a great place to visit.
It’s quite impossible to understand the amount of love Armani put into this project. But you can certainly feel it.
You can feel the essence of his creative mind, the effort of his critical reason to achieve perfection. Perfection of shapes, colors shades, cuts, silhouettes.
Armani Silos is a journey through a breathtaking aesthetic of a man with a timeless vision of dress codes.
Maybe Armani could not be at the center of spotlights during fashion weeks or be the next most adored designer of the month, but he’s the designer who was able to create faithful addicts and stay true to himself from the beginning till nowadays.
Because he didn’t design just smart jackets or simple cut dresses, he shaped fashion habits according to his unique vision of life and beauty.
And that’s the rarest quality a designer can desire to be born with.
How to visit Armani/Silos yourself:
Via Bergognone, 40
FRIDAY, SUNDAY: 11 – 20
THURSDAY, SATURDAY: 11 – 22