HE’S FOR REAL
THE MILITARY UNIFORM MAY HAVE RULED MILAN THIS SEASON, BUT THE ARMANI UNIFORM ALWAYS RULES.
GIORGIO ARMANI: The king of fashion is not amused. The other day, Giorgio Armani dismissed with a smirk those someone had called the slaves of fashion. “I don’t think you can make clothes for people like that,” he said. “I’m much more interested in real people.” That came across loud and clear in the Armani collection that closed the Milan season Friday. Slaves will search in vain for Seventies shapes, Op-Art sweaters and thrift-store tweeds. Everything on Giorgio’s runway was classic, straightforward and civilized — maybe too civilized at times. But Armani has no interest in being a cult figure. He sells big and he wants to continue to sell big.
Still, there was a whiff of the anti-fashion movement sweeping Milan in the Armani show. It was clearly demonstrated in Giorgio’s main proposition for night: The simplest white sweater, beaded for a little oomph, over white crepe pants. It also came through in countless new renditions of his perfect suits, with jackets cut particularly tight, often over slim pants.
Giorgio was frequently strict in both cut and color, preferring shades of gray and black-and-navy combinations. But he did rev up the neutral palette with a series of red and coral suits and dresses that some found a little loud, but others, including many retailers, simply loved.
In a season when sweaters are starring on almost every runway, Armani’s were some of the best. While some designers are going the generic route, he shapes them like a jacket, cropped at the waist. He also showed some terrific knee-length coats, sprightly and with none of the campy Mumish undertones that still exist in Milan. But then, just like those fashion slaves, camp has never held any fascination for Giorgio.