Eclecticism and colour
The Armani/Casa Collection reflects the vibrant clarity of Giorgio Armani’s aesthetic with its delicate balance of understated design and luxe materials, enhanced by skilful craftsmanship. Modernism and exoticism are the enduring themes of a rarefied yet strong lexicon, made up of slim structures, high-quality finishes and a sense of lightness. The inspiration for the Armani/Casa 2020 Collection comes from the abstract art of the early 20th century, a genre which fed on and was motivated by contact with other worlds and other cultures, encompassing orientalism, primitivism and original solutions. Henri Matisse’s vital sense of colour and Paul Klee’s chromatic rhythms form the starting point for patterns and finishes on pieces possessing a lightweight and subtle elegance. Colour blocks and collages of colours run through fabrics, furniture and accessories, occasionally shaded and enriched with floral patterns that contrast with a palette of warm, golden tones. Weave motifs are produced with skill on fabrics and wood, while plays on interlacing hint at constructivism. Curves and corners alternate, in a type of masculine-feminine spatial interchange. Fresh focus is also placed on the use of salvage —wood and stone for furniture, fabrics for accessories— for a responsible and sustainable approach to manufacturing.
The sense of shape
A strong sense of geometry is a feature of the tables and coffee tables, and seating and storage units. The rigorous restraint of the lines is softened by the colour choices and tactile-effect materials, which combine in an unexpected way. As in the Page rectangular dining table, built with a play on stripes that brings lightness to the structure, which has a top in natural woven wicker, legs in honey brushed ash and feet in platinum lacquer. The table is combined with the Prisma chair in honey brushed ash, which possesses a restrained look that is softened by padding. The new Porter storage units, available in two sizes and in a bedside cabinet version, also have an understated line, with a frame in black lacquer and drawers in rosé silver leaf, or a frame in platinum lacquer with drawers in heat-treated paulownia wood. Prestige, the storage unit with clean volumes, designed to be placed side by side with the Olimpia bookcase, already in the catalogue, is supported by a tubular frame upholstered in leather, and is available in walnut or hazelnut oak. Simple-looking, like the drawing of an angle, the Puro coffee table is made from wood and stone recovered from previous production processes and is available in two versions with a brown brushed ash exterior and emerald green quartzite interior and vice versa. Here, the materials are cut into irregular strips, and as the tables are made using salvage, each is therefore unique and a one-off. The strips theme reoccurs throughout the collection and also features in the Armani/Dada bar unit with two drawers for storing wines and in a mini kitchen design, inspired by American midnight kitchens that are installed in master bedrooms.
The modernist narrative of the collection turns sinuous in the pieces with fluid and rounded lines. Planet is the round table with X-shaped legs, in tamo wood with an ash frame, available with or without the Lazy Susan tray in grey Colombian marble, which accentuates the sense of roundness. The Passion dressing table has a soft silhouette reminiscent of the iconic Giunone desk, with emerald green quartzite top, aquamarine leather frame and details in platinum lacquer and pale satin-finish brass. It is paired with the Portofino fabric pouffe that complements and accentuates its femininity. Also paying homage to femininity is the Peggy armchair, enveloping and lightweight, inspired by the multifaceted figure of Peggy Guggenheim and particularly luxurious in the version in rosé silver leaf – applied by hand, with an irregular, artistic and artisanal effect. This has a distinctive cushion with graphic motifs. Referencing the rarefied atmosphere of vintage cinema is the Pretty day bed, in padded fabric, which takes inspiration from the seating in old movie theatres. The rounded shape of this design is emphasised by the platinum lacquer that decorates the support base, which is “lightened” by the effect of the large empty space under the seat.
The lamps with round lampshades have a classic and reassuring presence and a design that features an interplay between solid shapes and empty spaces. The Paladino table lamp possesses a structure in ribbed brass metal lacquer with a canneté effect and a lampshade available in white or forest green. Pamela is the table and floor lamp with a slim structure, inspired by bamboo cane, in pale satin-finish brass with a laser-cut elm lampshade available in white, red or forest green. The technical innovation of the lasering used on the wood accentuates its elasticity and creates a unique see-through effect with unexpected geometric light reflections.
A kaleidoscope of textiles
The fabric and textile accessories collection represents a modernist exploration of colour and materials, incorporating processes that give patterns and geometric designs an intriguing tactile texture. The homage to Matisse, Kandinsky and Klee is never literal, but instead a highly personal interpretation by Giorgio Armani. The ultimate manifestation of craftsmanship is evident in the Armani/Casa Exclusive Textiles by Rubelli line of fabrics. Using different techniques, the fabrics become dynamic creations, with blocks of colour created by embroidery, ikat effects and patterned weaves (the fabrics Porto, Portland and Pechino), and variations on the interlacing theme (the fabrics Pisa, Perugia and Portofino). Tradition and innovation are combined in hand-woven silk (Philadelphia) and more technical fabrics (Parma). Intricate motifs and geometric shapes are enlivened by the choice of colours that range from delicate pastel shades to classic neutrals, and from bright, luminous touches to powdery shades. The new textile accessories include decorative cushions in highly colourful patterns: Paprika, with a Seventies vibe, Polka, with optical-effect interlacing, Portia, with a black wool ground and floral pattern and Priscilla, with a folk theme and 3D look. The throws, such as Poppy, take up some of these patterns and are all made in precious materials. The several mise en place sets include Premier, a placemat created using scraps from the shirt production process at Armani, in pale blue grosgrain with a darker blue border, and a logoed ‘shirt-cuff’ napkin holder, also made from shirting offcuts.
Research and craftsmanship
The rugs in the collection are distinguished by top-quality work and carefully crafted detailing, and are all strictly hand-knotted using the highest-quality raw materials. Like Purfle, made entirely in silk, which is distinctive because of the repetition of the deconstructed logo that creates an elegant geometric pattern with a sophisticated shiny/matt appearance, or Philosopher, with its striking 3D look, the result of meticulous workmanship that emphasises the interweaving effect of the luminous silk. Parade, instead, presents the iconic canneté motif in wool and silk, displaying a play on 3D tonal shapes or an effect using flashes of colour.