Armani/Casa’s abstract art offering

Photography Crista Leonard. Set design Lisa Jahovic

While on leave from the military, a young man named Giorgio Armani found work as a window dresser at La Rinascente, a department store in Milan. This would be his first foray into fashion, and the beginnings of a business that would define not only clothing, but also shoes, perfume, jewellery, eyewear, cosmetics and design – an all-encompassing lifestyle. Later in life, when asked whether he could ever have imagined that his work would expand into so many different fields, that the poor boy from Piacenza would see such success, Armani remarked, “I like the idea of having built this beautiful empire, but I still think of myself as the stable boy.”

Few designers have articulated their aesthetic vision so holistically, and Armani/Casa – the interior design arm currently celebrating 20 years – continues to reflect Armani’s love of harmony, simple lines and Italian craftmanship. “It represents now, as it did at the beginning,” he notes, “a stimulating opportunity; the place where research and experimenting give life to objects and environments that reflect my idea of design – luxurious and essential.”

The abstract art of the early 20th century – a world punctuated by primitivism and cubism – is the inspiration behind Armani/Casa’s 2020 collection. Henri Matisse and Paul Klee’s joyful colours and rhythms are the building blocks for patterns and finishes on rugs, chairs, tables and lamps, while weave motifs found on fabrics and wood are a subtle nod to constructivism. A highlight from this year’s offering is the imperial Paladino table lamp, a ribbed brass metal lacquer base with a canneté effect usually reserved for Jacquard looms, fitted with a white, red or turquoise shade. ‘Paladin’ comes from the Latin palātīnus, the title given to the closest retainers of the Roman emperor. Apt then, that it was designed by a modern-day sovereign.

This article is taken from issue 27. To buy the issue or subscribe, click here