In Milan, on the cool, tree lined Via Borgognone, at number 40 Armani/Silos rises in all of its majestic elegance, an exhibition space by Giorgio Armani which was inaugurated last May during the Expo 2015, to celebrate the stylist’s 40 years in fashion.
The building, situated in the heart of the Milanese Design District (area Tortona), immediately catches your eye for its simplicity and architectural rigor, sober and monumental, an expression of a type of research capable of providing formal answers to functional needs, favoring a quintessential style free from unnecessary elements.
The imposing structure resides where the cereal depot for Nestle’ was originally situated, a tower built in 1950 in an interesting hive-like form, which was maintained during the remodel project. And that is the answer behind the origin of its name, Giorgio Armani explained, who imagined and closely followed the entire project: “I chose to call it Silos because that is where the grains were stored, materials necessary for life. And just like food, clothes are also necessary for life.”
If clothes represent possible nourishment for the soul, then visiting Armani Silos is equivalent to participating in a rich and surprising symposium for the spirit: the grand opening exhibit is a discussion of the forty years of the stylist’s work and is made of 600 outfits and 200 accessories, from 1980 to today, selected and arranged by theme.
Entering this grandiose tower of wonders you are immediately overtaken by a sense of vertigo, induced by the architectonic solemnity of the internal area, which was designed according to the same logic as the external structure: the exposition space of Silos is distributed over four levels, for a total surface of about 4500 square meters characterized by floors and walls in grey cement (or “greige”, the stylist’s iconic color) which contrasts with the black ceilings, and with the visible sunroofs and services (electrical, heating, cooling and lighting). The entire structure is developed around an empty forum which runs the entire height and upon which two central naves open, while the large glass façade in the foyer generates interesting displays of light which overlap with the soft colors of the internal halls.
On the ground floor, is the Daywear section which proposes knowingly deconstructed jackets, suits and outfits, among which is the suit used by Richard Gere in American Gigolo.
On the first floor, is the Exotic section and it accompanies visitors in a colorful and fascinating voyage among Countries and cultures: loud textures, precious embroidery and meticulous designs guide your eyes through faraway lands, in an instantaneous exploration of China, Japan, India and Africa.
On the second floor is the Chromatic section, where colors design new chromatic codes: outfits for a queen, tuxedos with an impeccable line and creations worn by movie stars, such as Katie Holmes’ red dress and the beautiful clothes worn by those such as Jodie Foster and Sharon Stone for the Oscars in 1995 and 1996.
If the first three levels are literally jaw dropping, the third floor saves the biggest surprises for last: in the Light section you have the impression you are in a dream, entering a fairy land where the heroines are marvelous outfits doused with crystals, embroidery, pearls and untouchable transparencies. Ethereal and immortal creations in white, ivory and silver tones whose fabric is light itself.
Besides the exhibit, the space has a gift shop and a cafe on the ground floor and on the last floor a digital archive, which can be consulted freely upon reservation: workstation, innovative touchscreen tables and a projection area which allow you to see drafts, photos, technical cards and images from the collections designed by Giorgio Armani. Through the Armani/Silos Film Series initiative there are a series of encounters organized for the projection of cult films which display Giorgio Armani’s collaboration with the world of movies: the stylist, through his clothes, has in fact, contributed to creating the immortal characters who, with their unmistakable style, have left a lasting impression in our memory.
On the Milanese panorama, which is fully capable of expressing the evolution of its know-how and ability to renew itself while looking towards the future, Armani/Silos earns a place of honor, worthy of a title in its own right to be considered among the city’s cultural hot spots of excellence, thanks to its extraordinary intrinsic patrimony, nourishment for the soul of all those who love beauty.
Tickets can be purchased:
At all the ticket counters Vivaticket
Full + Audio guide 15€
Reduced and students* 8.40€