Friday, December 16, 2022

Giorgio Armani Just Relaunched His Luxury Winter Sports Line, Armani Neve


As luxury fans devote more and more effort, post pandemic, to getting away from it all, fashion brands have been quick to identify niche areas for customers to get into even more of their gear. For winter 2022, a slew of such brands—especially in Milan—created capsule collections geared to both the technical needs of winter sports and the après-ski lifestyle. Giorgio Armani, however, was there decades before. Armani Neve, the winter sports version of his eponymous main line, first hit the slopes in the mid-’90s, allowing fans of the maestro to deck themselves out in couture-level—but ski-ready—gear in his signature runway colors that made them stand out from the technicolor hues of traditional skiwear on the slopes. Armani’s über-successful EA7 winter sports line, an offshoot of his Emporio Armani collection, is much more technical and colorful yet still executed with the maestro’s unstinting eye for restraint.

armani neve

Lucas Possiede

In St. Moritz, there is even more style off-piste, where performance clothing and out-and-out luxury cross-pollinate to create an all-day Alpine style fest, even if all you’re doing is popping to the supermarket to stock up on yet more cheese. Here, shopping is a winter sport pursued just as passionately as skiing, and the narrow streets throng with blue-chip luxury stores, all merchandising their offer to suit the high-octane après-ski vibe. The Swiss town has been a bellwether of winter style since the late 19th century, but its jet-set reputation really took off in the 1960s, when well-to-do Italians from the epicenter of Italy’s industrial postwar boomtowns of Milan and Turin made it the preferred winter weekend destination. In fact, so prevalent are the Italians here that it’s easy to forget at times that you are still in Switzerland.

armani neve

Lucas Possiede

And when the Armani roadshow rolled into town on the first official weekend of the ski season, that Milan feeling was only amplified. After a series of mountain dinners and lunches—with cheese as the leitmotiv—the weekend culminated in Giorgio Armani’s Neve show, in a simple purpose-built outdoor installation set within the Stadion St. Moritz, first built in the 1920s to house the skating, speed skating, and ice hockey events of the 1928 Winter Olympics (the first stand-alone winter version of the games). To fend off the cold, guests, which included Remo Ruffini of Moncler fame (and unofficial mayor of St Moritz) and Gildo Zegna of Ermengildo Zegna were supplied with fur blankets (synthetic) and flasks of hot apple juice laced with something stronger.

armani neve

Lucas Possiede

Reflecting that winter sports—the Italian way—is always as much about what happens off the slopes as what happens on them, and the show featured Armani’s fusion of technical ski gear and luxurious casual clothes inspired by the mountain life. Despite being built for purpose, his down jackets had the outsize appeal of streetwear and were all the more refreshing in Armani’s muted tones of olive, brown, gray, and white. But much of the collection was deliberately not for skiing but pushed the couture energy to the max with the velvet and printed faux fur coats for men and women that closed the show, emphasizing that ski towns like St. Moritz are, if anything, even more alive after the lifts have closed.

armani neve

Lucas Possiede

That vital duality of the luxury alpine lifestyle—at least the St. Moritz version—calls for skiing hard by day and partying hard by night. At night, after dinner, the Milanesi, who have a particularly pleasing disregard for coolness when it comes to party music, will take to dancing on tables or chairs without the slightest provocation, especially if it’s to sing along raucously to a playlist of heavy-on-the-formaggio Italian pop songs like Umberto Tozzi’s 1979 monster euro hit Gloria (later recorded in English by Laura Brannigan), which cropped up almost every night of the festivities and is now an official Esquire earworm. It certainly pays to learn the lyrics if you’re planning on visiting St. Moritz.

giorgio armani

Giorgio Armani takes a bow at the end of the Neve show, flanked by Silvana Armani (Head of Design for Womenswear) and Leo Dell’Orca (Head of Design for Menswear).

Lucas Possiede

GLORIA, Umberto Tozzi, 1979

Gloria
Manchi tu nell’aria
Manchi ad una mano
Che lavora piano
Manchi a questa bocca
Che cibo più non tocca
E sempre questa storia
Che lei la chiamo Gloria

Gloria sui tuoi fianchi la mattina nasce il sole
Entra odio ed esce amore dal nome Gloria

Gloria
Manchi tu nell’aria
Manchi come il sale
Manchi più del sole
Sciogli questa neve
Che soffoca il mio petto
T’aspetto Gloria

Gloria
(Gloria)
Chiesa di campagna
(Gloria)
Acqua nel deserto
(Gloria)
Lascio aperto il cuore
(Gloria)
Scappa senza far rumore
Dal lavoro del tuo letto
Dai gradini di un altare
Ti aspetto Gloria

Ah ah ah ah ah
Gloria
Per chi accende il giorno
E invece di dormire
Con la memoria torna
A un tuffo nei papaveri
In una terra libera
Per chi respira nebbia
Per chi respira rabbia

Per me che senza Gloria
Con te nuda sul divano
Faccio stelle di cartone
Pensando a Gloria

Gloria
Manchi tu nell’aria
Manchi come il sale
Manchi più del sole
Sciogli questa neve
Che soffoca il mio petto
T’aspetto Gloria

Gloria
(Gloria)
Chiesa di campagna
(Gloria)
Acqua nel deserto
(Gloria)
Lascio aperto il cuore
(Gloria)
Scappa senza far rumore
Dal lavoro del tuo letto
Dai gradini di un altare
Ti aspetto Gloria

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