July 7, 2008
Photo: STEPHANE FEUGERE
Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani has received the prestigious French award, Legion of Honour, for his design achievements over the past 35 years from the French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week. The ceremony was held at the winter garden of the Elysee Palace in Paris, where British actress Helen Mirren, singer Tina Turner and Carla Fendi were there to support the couturier.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in the market for a makeover. Perhaps something à la Richard Gere in “American Gigolo,” he joked to Giorgio Armani, who designed costumes for the film, moments before declaring the Italian designer an officer of the Légion d’Honneur at the Elysée Palace in Paris Thursday (Italian actress Claudia Cardinale was made commander at the same ceremony).
In a speech packed with one-liners that had the crowd roaring with laughter, Sarkozy played up his honorees’ origins. “As you know, I’m rather close to Italians,” he said, alluding to his new wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who did not attend the event.
Carla Fendi, Silvia Venturini Fendi, Nathalie Rykiel, Lady Helen Taylor, Eugenia Silva and Tina Turner were among those who gathered in the sunlit Jardin d’Hiver for the ceremony. Turner accessorized her sparkling green jumpsuit with her own Légion d’Honneur medallion. “I’ve got my little shiny one,” she said with a laugh, patting the prize.
Dame Helen Mirren (ph) bowed before Armani as she offered her congratulations. “The first time I had a posh dress, it was Armani,” said the actress, who wore costumes by the designer in the 1990 film “The Comfort of Strangers.”…
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