The exhibition Aldo Fallai for Giorgio Armani, 1977 – 2021 opens in the spaces of Armani/Silos: the story, combined in the present time, 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, which defined the very essence of an aesthetic that has made inroads into the collective imagination
Words DOMENICO COSTANTINI
The artistic partnership between Aldo Fallai – Florentine, born in 1943 – and Giorgio Armani began in the mid-seventies, even before the designer’s solo adventure, and then continued until the beginning of the 2000s and resumed in recent years. At the time of the first meeting, Armani is a young freelance stylist; Fallai, a graduate of the Art Institute, is a graphic designer with a happy inclination for photography. The agreement is immediate. The first, aware of the social changes underway which see women acquiring power and men dressing with more awareness, is determined to rewrite the rules of dressing, creating a real lifestyle. The second accompanies him in the definition of an imaginary in which cinematic evocations and neorealist nods mix with echoes of late Renaissance and mannerist painting, in a staging that smacks of life and is therefore profoundly authentic. The use of black and white, and the resulting narrative abstraction, is the winning choice: the images are in fact immediate and timeless, pure invention but as if captured in a real instant.
Together they aspire to paint scenes of the best possible life, situations in which the viewer can see himself reflected, and they succeed because the images are first and foremost portraits, or stills from a feature film: although conceived to make the collections known, they focus on the character of the characters, making clothes a subtle complement of being, reflecting the designer’s idea that elegance is not about being noticed, but about being remembered.
The narrative path unfolds over two floors and collects, in rigorous random order, around two hundred and fifty shots, which appeared in magazines or transformed into posters with a strong media impact. The exhibition combines images produced for different lines: there is the photo with the tiger cub, taken in Palermo, when the troupe takes refuge on a rainy day at the Togni circus; there is the career woman, played by Antonia Dell’Atte, portrayed, looking straight towards a bright future, in the midst of the crowd in via Durini, under the Armani offices. There is, again, the Venetian lagoon evoked in the studio, and the statues of the Foro Italico, translated into a game of clear and graphic shadows. They are familiar and surprising photos, created with inventiveness and intelligence.