A highlight of the first weekend of the 80th Venice International Film Festival was seeing Giorgio Armani appear on the catwalk, visibly excited, moved, smiling and proudly pleased with his work. He then emerged gracefully and happily, in his impeccable blue tuxedo, holding hands with model Agnese Zogla.
The moment was lived by the more than 500 guests at Armani’s One Night Only event, where the film world flocked to pay tribute to King Giorgio, with guests including Sophia Loren, who has always been his beloved girlfriend, accompanied by her son Edoardo Ponti. , actor Benicio Del Toro, actress Jessica Chastain and directors Ang Lee, Gabriele Salvatores and Giuseppe Tornatore.
The standing ovation lasted several minutes from an audience made up of countless couples from the Italian movie star system: from Sergio Castellitto and Margaret Mazzantini and Pierfrancesco Favino and Anna Ferzetti to Raul Bova and Rocio Munoz Morales to Kasia Smutniak and Domenico Procacci. Other stars and directors spotted in the audience included Kerry Washington, Lucas Bravo, Lukas Gage, Sydney Sweeney, Sadie Sink, Louis Garrel, Regé-Jean Page, Shu Qi, Ava DuVernay, Luca Guadagnino and Ferzan Ozpetek. The evening proved that fashion and film, meeting in the festival city, can make for an evening of absolute wonder, if only for one night, as the sign at the entrance read: ‘Welcoming guests from all over.’
Sixty-five models walked the catwalk in the Arsenale, the restored old complex of shipyards and workshops near the sites of the Venice Biennale. In the evocative setting of the event venue Tese delle Nappe, Giorgio Armani, aged 89, presented a harlequin-themed reinterpretation of Armani Privé’s last Paris fashion show. The catwalk also featured some precious Venetian-inspired dresses, a tribute to the lagoon city so beloved by the Piacenza designer. Parading down the catwalk under the historic columns and arches, long evening gowns in a variety of shades, from blue, green and turquoise to black, covered in crystals or with collars with geometric motifs reminiscent of the world’s most famous mask in a stunning display of unique craftsmanship .
As singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini, one of the evening’s guests, told THR, “The moment of the evening was watching Mr. Armani himself walk the runway on his lap and be showered with praise and respect – goosebumps, adding that “the pieces were astonishing.”
So far, Armani’s ‘One Night Only’ event had reached seven major cities: London in 2006, Tokyo in 2007, Beijing in 2012, Rome and New York in 2013, Paris in 2014 and Dubai in 2021, this year it was Venice’s turn . What better time than during the Venice Film Festival, where Armani Beauty is the main sponsor? And who could be more appropriate than Armani, whose passion was born as a boy and then cultivated and meticulously consolidated over time by dressing celebrities on the most prestigious red carpets in the world and designing the costumes for movies that include iconic have become? American gigolo. And who else can boast of a documentary dedicated to him? Made in Milanby Martin Scorsese, which premiered at the festival in 1990?
Venice also wanted to honor him the day before the show by awarding him the Golden Lion in Murano glass, received from the city’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, who said: “I wanted to thank the man, his dedication and his great to recognize passion for beauty, which he has managed to transform into a successful business, the symbol of Made in Italy in the world.”
“I was very touched by the city’s gesture. The statue wasn’t gold, but I was still very happy,” Armani joked in a moving pre-show lecture in Italian. “From my first visit I was impressed by Venice and all its colours. It’s a dreamy paradise… with a decadent vibe. Yet it exudes a certain sense of unique elegance,” said the designer, who celebrated the occasion with a super party on September 1 on a yacht moored in Riva San Biasio.