11 ottobre 2023
by Laura Antonini

Dressed by King Giorgio


In 1980, Giorgio Armani was a very young brand. It was only 5 years old, but its revolutionary aesthetics were already destined to make their way into international wardrobes. The quality and elegance of Italian design freely expressed in the flowing soft pants and unbuttoned shirts impressed director Paul Schrader, who wanted the protagonist Julian Kay in American Gigolo—played by Richard Gere—to be dressed precisely by King Giorgio.

This debut on the big screen led to a bond and mutual love between the designer and the movies lasting over forty years. This relationship is proven by his collaboration in over 200 films by directors such as Martin Scorsese, Gabriele Salvatores and Ridley Scott, dressing Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep. The designer, who often talks about how as a child he wanted to be a director, has been behind memorable creations that, appearing on the big screen, and before the instant communication of social media, influenced tastes and drove fashions and trends.

Think of the coats and the three-piece suits worn by Eliot Ness, the idealistic federal agent (Kevin Costner) in Brian De Palma's urban western The Untouchables (1987), with which Armani established some of his cult combinations: tweed jacket with cardigan, flat caps and ties in neutral colors from gray to brown. And who could ignore his interpretation of men’s fashion in Little Italy of the 1970s in the wardrobes designed by Armani for Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas in the 1990s? This great success also sealed the friendship between Armani and Scorsese, who that very year decided to travel to Milan to chronicle the designer's genius in the documentary Made in Milan, starring a very elegant and discreet Giorgio.

From one success to the next, right up to his most recent productions, including for Netflix's Don't Look Up. For this film, Armani, together with costume designer Susan Matheson, shaped and styled another great movie icon: Meryl Streep. The actress plays Janie Orlean, President of the United States, who is perfect in her red wool crepe suit with peak lapels.

And this year, with the 80th edition of the Venice International Film Festival, Giorgio Armani certainly wasn’t sitting at home.  He organized the exclusive One Night Only Venice, an event to celebrate film and pay tribute to the host city. The evening was held at the Arsenal and was preceded by a haute couture show. 

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