Neelika Jayawardane
Giorgio Armani claims that his Spring/Summer catwalk show in Milan this year was inspired by “Touaregs”.

So what does a Toureg look like, in the hands of the Italian? Apparently, being a semi-nomad on the Sahara involves layering multiplicitously textured indigo fabrics–glossy, matte, glittering with crystals, and translucent/transparent–into flowing designs that can whip up in the harmattan, while accentuating a compact silhouette. Amulet-like accessories, and small, desert-ready silk turbans accentuated the source of the inspiration: Africans are superstitious, and are fond of headgear.

Imogen Fox of The Guardian can barely contain herself at the originality of Milan Fashion Week:

“To hammer home his Tuareg inspiration, Armani sent a barefoot male  model wearing a blue chiffon robe to escort his last model down the catwalk. It wasn’t exactly subtle, but it was one of Armani’s more successful shows.”

Other devotees, however, gushed that the designs were “… sensual and relaxed…it made me forget the lack of color. Blue can be so mysterious.

But even the allure of those wild North African exotica in indigo (actually, all the Armani models looked more like the usual runway special: angular, floaty, and white) was no match for the polished grin of George Clooney (who is currently dating a model of Southern Italian provenance). The cameras lined up dutifully – but perhaps not for all the indigo Armani had on offer.

Next to Zuhair Murad’s gorgeous collection (breasts blossoming into cream roses), Armani’s work just looks like a bad tan trying get with North Africa, about 80 years too late.

Further Reading

No more caricatures

Engaging seriously with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life could help us understand how South Africa got where it is and where it’s going.