Culture - 12/4/23
ARMANI/SILOS INAUGURATES THE NEW EXHIBITION ALDO FALLAI per GIORGIO ARMANI 1977 – 2021
Curated by Giorgio Armani, Rosanna Armani, Leo Dell’Orco
Milan, 4th December 2023 – Armani/Silos inaugurates the new exhibition Aldo Fallai for Giorgio Armani, 1977 – 2021, the story, told in the present, of almost thirty years of uninterrupted artistic dialogue between Giorgio Armani and Aldo Fallai.
Curated by Giorgio Armani, Rosanna Armani and Leo Dell'Orco, the exhibition explores the boundaries of a unique collaboration that defined the very essence of an aesthetic that has made its way into the collective imagination. The artistic partnership between Florentine Aldo Fallai, class of 1943, and Giorgio Armani dates back to the mid-1970s—before Giorgio Armani embarked on his solo adventure—and continues for almost thirty years until the early 2000s, only to resume in recent years. When they first meet, Armani is a young freelance designer; Fallai, having graduated from the Institute of Art, is a graphic designer with a happy inclination for photography.
The two have an immediate understanding. Armani, conscious of the social changes underway whereby women are gaining power and men are dressing more consciously, is determined to rewrite the rules for dressing and create a new lifestyle. Fallai assists him in the definition of an imagery, in which cinematographic evocations and neo-realist hints blend with echoes of late Renaissance and Mannerist painting in a mise-en-scène that is reminiscent of life and is therefore profoundly authentic. The use of black and white—and the narrative abstraction this offers—is the winning move: the images are pure invention yet they capture a real instant, they are immediate, timeless. The pair aspires to portray the best life possible, with scenes and situations in which the spectator could see themselves.
They succeed because the images were portraits first and foremost, almost resembling stills from a full-length film: although conceived to show the collections, they focus on the character of the models, making the clothes a subtle complement to their existence and way of being, reflecting the designer's idea that elegance is not about being noticed, but about being remembered. The narrative pathway develops over two floors and brings together, in strictly unsystematic order, approximately two hundred and fifty shots, which either appeared in magazines or were transformed into billboards with huge media impact.
The exhibition juxtaposes images produced for different lines: there’s the photo with the tiger cub, taken in Palermo when the troupe took refuge at the Togni circus one rainy day; there’s the career woman, impersonated by Antonia Dell'Atte, looking directly ahead towards a bright future in the middle of the crowd on Via Durini by the Armani office. And then there’s the Venetian Lagoon, evoked in studio, and the statues of the Foro Italico translated into a play of sharp, graphic shadows. The photographs are at once familiar and surprising, taken with inventiveness and intelligence.