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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Giorgio Armani, The Comeback Kid

Godfrey Deeny
September 27th, 2009 @ 00:54 AM - Milan

The most anticipated shows this season in Milan have been those of Giorgio Armani, whose slow recovery from hepatitis has been the main source of fashion speculation this summer in Italy.

And though the 75-year-old Armani appeared as a very clearly weakened individual, walking with hesitant steps, after all four shows – two for his signature collection on Thursday, Sept. 24 and two for Emporio Armani on Saturday, Sept. 26 – both his collections were very strong and composed statements, a triumph for an individual besting an unlucky break.

“My illness changed me," said Armani backstage after his Emporio Armani show. "Taking a break this summer, I had plenty of time to think. Stress can destroy you, so I no longer want to be too aggressive, but to try to relax more."

Underlining his sunnier mood, Armani sent out his most colorful Emporio looks in many seasons, firing up the finale with blood oranges, Aegean blues and, like the rock band, deep purple, used in some beautifully cut and twirling short skirts or sequined cardigans.

The designer remains a master cutter when it comes to working with leather and his multiple scallop cut suede bomber jacket and ruffled boleros were suitably refined.

Earlier in the week, at his top line, Armani focused more on his classic materials, geometric black and whites, or snappy houndstooth, used in a collection inspired by the self-assured rigor of the Bauhaus movement. Layered silk blouses, shoulders with curvy, almost "Dynasty" proportioned shoulders, one-shouldered cocktail dresses and 1930s-style Art Deco pendants set the mood of timeless elegance for which Armani will always be famous.

This collection also stood out against the current mega runway trends of rather romantic frippery and instead exposed lots of flesh with tight minis and deep gorge shirts, where the V-neck finished right at the navel.

Then again, Armani has seen a lot more of the human form than his studio the previous month, since he spent much of August at his famed vacation home on the Italian island of Pantelleria, working on the deep tan he sported while taking his bow.

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