Armani Silos Museum

May 31, 2019, Milan, Italy

Thoughts Heading Into the Day

Boy what a day! We left Florence at 8:00, traveled by train for two hours, and walked blocks to our hotel arriving at 11:30am only to find out we had to kill time until 3:00pm–our check-in time. We have an appointment at 4:00pm, so it’s going to be tight.  I will definitely be tired for this museum tour, but I am so glad it is a guided tour.

Armani Silos Museum

I ended up really liking the Armani Silos Museum.  The museum is housed in old grain silos and they have kept the height.  The building is very interesting and looks abstract from the outside.  The museum opened in 2015, houses three floors of collections, and the neighborhood where these Armani Silo’s sit was once Armani headquarters.  

Our guided tour was wonderful, and I found Armani to be a fascinating character as well as an innovative designer.   

Armani was born in foggy Piacenza Italy. He likes gray because it reminds him of the gray misty weather of where he lived as a child and you see that influence throughout his collections. He came to Milan to pursue a degree in medicine but, after three years, left to join the army.  He said Milan brought him the color beige, but his favorite color is blue, and you will see that color in most in his designs.

Armani did not study fashion, but he was a good sketcher and a good designer.  His career in fashion started when he got a job as a window dresser for Macey’s department store in Milan. Shaping the layouts of the windows he learned the taste for what is beautiful and what people like to see. This knowledge has also spilled over into his very creative cuts and details of his fashion.

One of the most fascinating things I learned is that he controls every detail in his designs. I specifically asked about the position of the sequins on some dresses and learned he even controls how sequins are laid and sewn on fabric, for example flat or on their side.  In fact, we learned that Armani, who is in his 80’s now, still periodically comes in unannounced and abruptly tells people what to do.

I was amazed at the intricacy of his designs in the dresses we saw and wondered how he came up with it all. Although Armani is known for his sleek men’s and women’s suits, which we also saw at this museum, and blurring the lines between men’s and women’s clothing, I found his dresses to be beautiful, elegant, and stunning creations with an attention to detail that I had never seen before.  I was also fascinated by his non-western influence in designs from other countries such as China, Japan, and Africa. After seeing these dresses, it was no wonder why he designed for movies and movie stars, was the top Italian designer, and has made billions.   

Takeaways From the Day

Old buildings can make wonderful museums, what we end up creating is often due to the environment we have been exposed to, and studying human anatomy made Armani a better designer. Armani is the third renowned designer we have learned about who studied the human body. 

Armani was a creative genius! I would love to know how he conjured up those designs before he put them to paper and then to cloth.  He also had a career change, and found he was good at knowing what people liked as a result.  This gives me comfort since I am also making a career change.  I hope I will be as successful at teaching people as Armani has been at designing.   


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