The first weekend of the 80th Venice International Film Festival was a memorable one with the appearance of fashion icon Giorgio Armani. The renowned designer made a grand entrance on the catwalk, visibly excited, moved, and proudly satisfied with his work. He walked gracefully and happily, hand in hand with model Agnese Zogla, wearing his impeccable blue tuxedo. This moment was witnessed by over 500 guests at Armani’s One Night Only event, where the world of cinema gathered to pay homage to the fashion king.
Among the esteemed guests in attendance were legendary actress Sophia Loren, who has always been a beloved friend of Armani, accompanied by her son Edoardo Ponti. Other notable guests included actor Benicio Del Toro, actress Jessica Chastain, and directors Ang Lee, Gabriele Salvatores, and Giuseppe Tornatore. The event received a standing ovation from the audience, which consisted of numerous prominent couples from the Italian film star system.
The crowd was filled with stars and directors like Kerry Washington, Lucas Bravo, Lukas Gage, Sydney Sweeney, Sadie Sink, and Louis Garrel. The night proved that the fusion of fashion and cinema in the city of the festival could create an evening of absolute wonder. The entrance sign read, “Welcoming guests from all over,” highlighting the international allure of the event.
The runway show took place at the Arsenale, the restored old complex of shipyards and workshops near the venues of the Venice Biennale. Giorgio Armani, at 89 years young, presented a reinterpretation of Armani Privé’s last Paris fashion show, which had a harlequin theme. The collection showcased precious Venice-inspired gowns, paying tribute to the lagoon city that holds a special place in the designer’s heart. The catwalk featured long evening gowns in various shades of color, adorned with crystals or ruffs with geometric motifs reminiscent of the iconic Venetian mask.
Singer-songwriter Kelsea Ballerini, one of the night’s guests, expressed her awe at watching Mr. Armani take his lap around the runway, receiving praise and respect from the audience. She described the pieces as stunning and emphasized the goosebumps-inducing moment.
Armani’s “One Night Only” event has previously been held in London, Tokyo, Beijing, Rome, New York, Paris, and Dubai. This year, Venice was chosen as the location, perfectly coinciding with the Venice Film Festival, where Armani Beauty is a main sponsor. The event celebrated Armani’s lifelong passion for fashion, which began in his childhood and has culminated in dressing celebrities for prestigious red carpet events and designing iconic film costumes. One in particular is the film “American Gigolo.” Armani’s contributions to the industry have been recognized with a documentary dedicated to him, “Made in Milan,” by Martin Scorsese, which premiered at the festival in 1990.
The city of Venice honored Armani the day before the show by awarding him the Golden Lion in Murano glass. The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, praised Armani for his commitment and great passion for beauty, which he has turned into a successful global enterprise and a symbol of Made in Italy.
During a pre-show lecture in Italian, Armani expressed his gratitude for the city’s gesture. He humorously noted that the statue was not gold, but he was still quite happy. He described Venice as a dreamy paradise with a decadent atmosphere and a unique elegance. To celebrate the occasion, the designer hosted a super party on September 1st aboard a yacht moored in Riva San Biasio.
The first weekend of the 80th Venice International Film Festival will forever be remembered for Giorgio Armani’s dazzling appearance and the mesmerizing showcase of his designs. The event brought together the worlds of fashion and cinema, creating an unforgettable evening of glamour and artistry. Armani’s legacy in both industries continues to inspire and captivate audiences around the world.