Giorgio Armani doesn’t really do trends; he created a look, and sometimes fashion cycles back around to it. This is one of those times when, with everyone from Michael Kors to Marc Jacobs talking about the classics, his fluid tailoring has new fashion currency.
But he, like the rest of the industry, does evolve. So, on the subject of circularity, he started the fall women’s season with an R-EA capsule line that used regenerated wool, organic cotton and recycled nylon and padding in the name of sustainability. A mixed black wool and quilted nylon puffer coat with white X across the front brought to mind the logo for the group Extinction Rebellion (that’s one way to dress to get around protesters in the streets). But other pieces, including a flirty black quilted puffer skirt and sleeveless moto-zip sweater, or a flannel blazer cut into a corset over shorts and tights, were more subtle-sustainable.
For the new collection, Armani worked his masculine-meets-feminine magic in black-and-white onto pleated pantsuits with all manner of jackets: cropped and double-breasted, long and lean, or elegantly fastened with a single button at the shoulder. There was one for everyone. Highlights included a cropped black blazer over white French cuff shirt and draped asymmetric black trousers look, as well as a snug Prince of Wales bomber over fluid pants cinched with buttons at the ankle.
Of all the velvet on the runway, a leggy, Eighties-reminiscent black LBD with drop waist, short skirt and giant bow best struck a chord with this season’s throwback party mood. Armani also hit the goldmine with a black velvet collarless coat that flashed a royal blue silk lining, worn with nothing but a white cravat over bare cleavage. Sexy.
The designer’s love of va-va-voom got away from him though when he loaded on a surfeit of ruffles, chiffon petals, knit boas and crystal embroideries in all shades of green: jade, forest and shamrock. It distracted from the core proposition. (He said postshow, it was his commercial team who insisted he add color to the collection because it works in stores. Go figure.)
Small gripe, but in the interest of sustainability, he might also consider trimming down his 85 runway exits one of these days. Because, visual impact aside, is showing the same look in two colors really the best use of resources? Questions to ponder for the green days ahead.