Armani dazzles Paris with a sparkling couture show

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PARIS : Giorgio Armani welcomed guests to Paris for his haute couture show Tuesday in a minimalist, intimate setting, showcasing a polished collection drenched in rhinestones, sequins and glitter.

The Italian designer, whose creations are worn by royalty and Hollywood stars, sent out models in tiered black tulle dresses, elegant jackets with added sheen and sheer tops with flower details.

Models in floral-printed jackets and blue jodhpur-style pants cut from iridescent fabrics strutted down the runway, while others showed off puffy tops or jackets, covered in pink tulle ribbon bows by the dozens.

An awards ceremony is never far off, and Armani offered a selection of glamorous dresses, slender or voluminous, silky or velvety, strapless or covered in sequins, in colors ranging from Barbie pink to deep blue.

At the end of the show, Armani, almost 88, barely emerged from the darkness for his customary bow.

Paris Fashion Week, which runs through Thursday with shows by Balenciaga, Jean Paul Gaultier and Fendi, is a prestigious showcase for a select group of fashion houses whose clothes are meticulously hand-sewn by highly skilled artisans.

While haute couture accounts for a small proportion of sales for luxury brands, it is a major marketing driver for the industry.

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