With much of the fashion industry in hot pursuit of Gen Z and social-media buzz, making a play for the more mature, confident man on the runway seems almost radical.
Giorgio Armani did so magnificently on Monday, delivering a pleasant, confident show true to himself and largely in step with the season’s yen for plush, cozy and comforting clothes.
His models, classically handsome and with more than a decade’s experience shaving, tread silently across a gleaming set of tawny marble to tinkling piano and stirring strings.
There was an emotional tug accentuated by the gentle music and the dignity of these clothes, mostly neutral in color, the tailoring as comfortable as a cardigan, exalting Armani’s original invention.
Herringbone has been absent from the runways for so long, this reviewer needed Google to jog his memory. The designer carved it into handsome topcoats and soft suits, also employing speckled tweeds, Prince of Wales checks and other traditional menswear fabrics, along with velvets and a range of plush materials.
Dress trousers, often shaped like sweatpants, came in thick, nubby fabrics that sometimes zipped over rubber-soled Chelsea boots in suede and leather. If there was any ploy for editorials and celebrities, it would be the animal-print parka in faux fur, wild by Armani standards.
He was more on terra firma with stately shearlings, shapely pea coats and handsome dinner jackets.
Billboards for Neve, the designer’s newish skiwear brand, are plastered all over Milan and the designer included a segment of heavily quilted gear for snowboarding and polar expeditions.
He also acknowledged that he’s in the thick of awards season, capping off Monday’s display with a gaggle of glamorous men and women in glittering evening finery. They spilled out in twos, laughing and embracing each other as if they had just enjoyed the night of their lives — or scooped up armfuls of Oscars or Grammys.
The designer explained the finale at his post-show press conference: “Transgression and modernity are perfectly fine, but I liked the idea of seeing once again a cute couple together.”