Shanghaiist is neither fashionable nor interested in fashion, but we know a good party when we hear of one. Which is why we held on to the three invitations that landed on our desk for the opening of the Giorgio Armani Retrospective at the Shanghai Art Museum, a Giorgio Armani fashion show in the Shanghai Grand Theatre, and a Vogue China after-party at Three on the Bund, all on Saturday night.
You’re probably asking: how does somebody like Shanghaiist, who is completely unaware that red doesn’t go well with green (or black with blue, for that matter), get invited to an Armani shin-dig? Not certain, but a woman sitting along the front row of the catwalk opposite us was wearing Qipu Lu shoes and an old jumper, and eating baozi out of a plastic bag. So, being fashionable was clearly not a prerequisite.
But even the world’s daggiest dresser will appreciate the Robert Wilson-designed Retrospective. This is as good as any museum show held in Shanghai in recent times. The space itself is remarkable, and the collection of Armani outfits from the early 70s to last year holds plenty of fascination — particularly the actual gowns and suits worn by various Hollywood stars on film and at Awards ceremonies. Not a single Björk swan or backward tux in sight.
From there, it was a short walk (and several speedily chugged champagnes) to the Shanghai Grand Theatre for the Armani fashion show. The start was delayed thanks to some people arriving late. Yes, Zhang Ziyi, we’re talking about you. Lift your game. (See here for Zhang and the other “celebs” in attendance at the show).
As for the actual clothes, Shanghaiist is in no position to give a critique, though we’re happy to speak at length about the quality of the all-female line-up of models. What we can tell you is that several people commented about the slight “80s” feel to Armani’s new Privē range. Not this kind of 80s. Rather, the 80s of long jackets and shoulder pads. Whether or not this retro move is a good thing, we don’t know. It certainly doesn’t sound like a good thing.
From the Shanghai Grand Theatre we made our way by bus to Three on the Bund. Our particular bus driver took the scenic route, somewhere out near Hongqiao Airport and, it seemed, various water towns. Thanks, pal.
Not much to report from the Vogue party. A whole lot of Mumm was imbibed. Armani appeared for about two minutes. And the food, while delicious, was hard to come by. Waiters who had the misfortune to appear with trays of hors d’oeuvres were literally wrestled to the ground by legions of hungry party-goers.
Meanwhile the baozi woman stood in a corner, clutching her plastic bag of street-baked goodies and chuckling to herself at the folly of all these fashionable fools.
The Giorgio Armani Retrospective is on at the Shanghai Art Museum until 3 May. Tel: 6327-2829.
Also: Giorgio Armani announces expansion plan in mainland China.