There are some incredible fashion pinnacles you know that, in your blogging career, you won’t easily forget, regardless of whether they last a moment or an entire night. It could be reaching your first subscriber milestone, publishing your first interview and getting positive feedback from the subject in question, or posting up your very first outfit-look for the whole world to see – all of these are substantial in their own way and can literally make your day (or week) even. However, in this particular case, I’m reminiscing over a momentous evening I experienced just over a week ago; covering my first exclusive designer event, Emporio Armani’s Summer Garden Party Live, for La Femme Éclectique.
The elegant-yet-lighthearted ambience that the gathering oozed was evident from the word go, as chic fashionistas mingled at the New Bond Street entrance and waited to be checked off the virtual guest lists. Entering the building, I were greeted by an Armani-embossed wall against which fashion & music insiders posed and, making my way down steps to the main launch area downstairs, I passed by luxuriously-robed mannequins and waiters all dressed in black, circling the ever-growing crowds with incessant supplies of champagne, elderflower ginger ale and flavour-bursting canapés. It was clear from the start how palpable the venue’s energy was (everyone knew what a wonderful night was in store for them) yet, while I embraced the sociable atmosphere, I was even more keen on taking in the many rails of Emporio Armani collections, which displayed enticingly-sophisicated garments. Before I had the chance to do that, however, I was whisked away to the luminescent marquee garden – just in time to see the evening’s first act perform:
Singer/songwriter Arlissa‘s fanbase has been steadily increasing over the past year, her soulful vocals and foot-stomping singles gaining new fans by the day; and with her career debut punctuated with a Nas collaboration and numerous magazines labelling her as ‘one-to-watch’, it’s pretty clear to see how she’s been marked as one of London’s hottest emerging acts of the minute. The three-track set featured her most recognisable single, ‘Sticks and Stones’, and Arlissa, clad in Armani clothes, was the epitome of elegance during her mini-concert. Her debut album is set to be released by the end of this year, so I’ll be sure to pick up a copy when it comes out – as should you! In the meantime, check out her hauntingly beautiful rendition of John Newman’s ‘Love Me Again’ here.
After Arlissa and her band left the stage and guests resumed their lively chatter, I descended the ornate stairs and grabbed a fresh drink from the outdoor bar, then retraced my steps back to where those incredible-looking Armani garments lay patiently waiting:
The monochromatic showroom was awash with shades of cobalt, powder blue and desert hues; lime green buttery-leather (Italian, the finest, naturally) jackets and dark metallic knits in clean-cut forms graced the same rails, bringing together the ultimate in luxury fabric contrasts. With tweed and metallic wool jackets paired with silk-print tops and vibrant tailored classics, the living female embodiment of Emporio Armani strikes me as a woman who knows her every contour well and isn’t afraid to look diverse – on the contrary, she practically revels in it – but still succeeds in wearing garments that perfectly flatter her shape, making her ooze femininity, sex appeal and complete and utter self-esteem. My personal favourite from the array was the two-tone boucle wool jackets, but on a general note, I quietly marvelled at how a collection of its kind could be crafted; these minimalistic, chic lines and vivid shades & textures having been married with such natural finesse, it could’ve only been achieved by the grace of an Italian.
My fashion-related detour from the garden meant missing the second artist – Jamie N Commons – but luckily, I was able to ascend the outdoor stairs to a higher level to watch (and inevitably gape at) incredible London duo AlunaGeorge, my eyes now able to scan over an even larger crowd that emerged outside eagerly. Laura Whitmore once again took the role of introducing each act, fresh and glowing in – naturally! – Armani and, incredibly, the two musicmakers actually walked right past my vantage point on the stairs (the first joking thought exchanged was: how on earth will she manage performing in this heat with a fur coat like that?!)
If the crowd had been enjoying themselves beforehand, they were positively enthralled now – AlunaGeorge played a longer set than the previous two, including their debut album’s lead single ‘You Know You Like It’ and had everyone dancing within seconds (I underestimated Aluna regarding her wardrobe choice, by the way – throughout the concluding gig she didn’t once lose her stamina, even though it must’ve been humid enough on-stage). I’ve been loving the LDN duo’s music since they played at Moschino’s Cheap and Chic show last October, and now that Body Music has been released, I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on a copy (that’s my principal objective next time I head into Dublin!)… It also helps that Aluna’s style is so goddamn covetable, and is pulled off flawlessly. ♥
As the night drew to a close and fashionistas piled out onto the street in high spirits, I couldn’t help grin ear-to-ear as I exited in the direction of the nearest black taxi-cab. With an evening filled with such awe-striking garments, awesome music and laughter, it was inevitable I’d walk away feeling on top of the world – after all, who could’ve ever done it better than the Italians? ♥