08 June 2006

Oscar Della Moda

It was another interesting evening on Italian TV.
One of Fabrizio's favorite genre of television, fashion as entertainment. I'm not so sure it's the packaging as the goods that he finds so inspiring, but all together it is quite the visual spectacle that is so fascinating.
Living in an European country doesn't always feel so foreign, except for the obvious language difference, but there are times when the differences stand out. Italian TV is one of those times. It's the annual evening presentation of the "Oscars" for the fashion industry. I've always found it an interesting and entertaining extravaganza as it is such a foreign concept to me, "fashion as entertainment". There is, of course, the 24 hour fashion channel,which isn't quite the same. The setting for these annual events are generally breathtaking outdoor venues usually in the south of Italy as it is warm and balmy for an evening when there can be a lot of skin exposed along with all those lovely fabrics and finery. This year's event was set in the Greek amphitheater of Taormina in Sicily and it was spectacular. There is always enough live music with well known performers, not necesssarily well known outside of Europe, but high calibre and oftentime dramatic performances blending all the elements of sights and sound. The blending of setting, music, beautiful clothes and predominately beautiful women, (although there was a fine sampling of male models and designers to boot), is an intoxicating blend of visual and auditory feasting. Giorgio Armani won one of the 7 Oscars given out this year, along with a variety of other designers, not all Italian, but, of course, it is a field the Italians can dominate, and it is their award show. Armani's sampling of elegant classic evening wear, almost made me wish I had somewhere to go to wear such a creation and it also made me wish I had the long legs needed to look that elegant and classic. The presenters and models towered above the mere mortal designers and were reminiscent of mythical Amazonian warrior princesses. There were many other fascinating and provocative collections shown, all adding up to an interesting evening that didn't include reruns, or badly dubbed sitcoms. Fashion is so important not only to Italians, but to the Italian economy as well, that it shouldn't be so surprising to me, but it does seem to take me by surprise. I try not to think of all the people that the whole fashion industry could feed and shelter and try not to be too cynical and enjoy it for what it is; a celebration of beauty and perceived beauty in a higher form, mixed with a summer breeze, a bit of rock and roll or operatic crooning that makes one forget that it's only a fashion show.....

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