It was a hot, stuffy afternoon in Milan, but in the courtyard of Giorgio Armani’s Via Borgonuovo palazzo, it might as well have been aperitivo hour on Pantelleria, for all of the breezy, sensual — and artfully wrinkled — silhouettes easing their way down the catwalk.
Low-lying, landlocked Milan isn’t exactly known for its warm, gentle winds, but here they seemed to blow easily through loose, airy shirts; roomy, undone sweaters revealing flashes of shoulder, and fluid trousers. “You can even wear them to the beach,” said a proud Armani.
Wrinkly, languid suits came with waistcoats — rather than shirts — and double-breasted white and navy styles with ticking stripes had a refreshingly bohemian air. Asked to describe his man this season, Armani said his customer dresses to please himself, he’s more laid back than in the past, and he’s also “molto sexy.” And there certainly was a morning-after-a-night-on-the-beach mood to the collection.
The color palette took a turn this season, too, with the designer swapping a lot of his signature navy with brown. He was inspired by an image of Luchino Visconti, the aristo film director, looking elegant in a brown suit, and Armani took it from there.
On the runway, Visconti’s look morphed into slubbed cotton suits with button-fly trousers and softly shaped jackets with small, rounded lapels. Cropped trousers, cargo pants and workwear jackets also had that Visconti vibe.
Armani tossed some ultra-summery shades into the mix, including raspberry for boxy, single-breasted jackets, an iridescent dusty rose for ankle-cropped trousers and gentle gray for baggy trousers and jackets with flap pockets. Brighter shades came through in a series of geometric patterns, on trousers; liquid, knee-length shorts, and textured, color block terry shirts.
Admittedly, not everyone spends their summers by the sea, or enveloped in a warm evening breeze, Negroni in hand, which is why there were also buttoned-up silhouettes sailing around Armani’s verdant, cobblestoned courtyard, which was dripping with vines and leafy greens.
The opening look was a dazzler — a tailored brown suit, set against a blue tone-on-tone shirt, vest and tie. It was powerful — and unmistakably Armani. Milan’s maestro may have taken a welcome turn into beachside boho territory, but he never forgets how to drape, shape and tailor a suit for maximum impact, with or without wrinkles.