Asian references are a house signature, but Giorgio Armani took it to a new level in his Emporio Armani collection for spring 2018 through clever plays on layering. A martial arts mood predominated, like in the belted quilted utility jackets and cropped pants with attached suiting-fabric tails that gave depth and movement. Tailoring was soft but close to the body with athletic red and blue racing stripes that infused a youthful edge and soft sarong volumes on some of the pants.
Chinoiserie jacquard silks were used on everything from blazers and cropped jackets to parkas, while in the evening section a pack of models emerged — mobster style — in black and gold Chinese-style jackets with stylized motifs.
There were colored floral kimono print bombers, dragon print black kimono shirts and red and black carp motif knits paired with culottes. More subtle was the white silk bird print that fluttered across certain jackets, and the lovely jacquard pieces from the show’s blue section with tonal motifs.
With the globalization of fashion continuing to gather steam, the designer was in his comfort zone, wrapping the show with a high kicking martial arts performance.
Less transporting was the unveiling of the ad campaign for the house’s Armani EA Connected smartwatch series, which included a live appearance of its face, Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, who did an awkward runway lap holding his wrist aloft as the soundtrack played one of his songs.
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