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Armani: From Seersucker Chic to Leather Army

Godfrey Deeny
June 22nd, 2010 @ 5:30 PM - Milan

Giorgio Armani might be at an age when most men are pulling on slippers and putting their feet up, but judging from his latest two latest menswear collections, this sprightly 75-year-old is as energetic and curious as ever.

He staged two sharp shows this past weekend in Milan, ending the runway show of his junior label Emporio Armani on Sunday, June 20, with ten models marching out in all leather, military outfits, a set of sado-masochistic looks he dreamed up for a recent video of from pop music’s most revolutionary new icon, Lady Gaga.

“We collaborated with her and enjoyed the experience. So, I thought it would pretty to pay a little homage at the finale,” Armani said.

His most groundbreaking fashion moment, however, was his signature men’s show, staged Tuesday, June 22, where he took plenty of unexpected risks with his classic tailoring, most of which paid off handsomely.

It’s rather remarkable that Armani can keep experimenting with silhouette, but he did again this season with a new double breasted jacket, taut at the shoulders but bias cut and chopped away at the front. They looked light, probably not as easy to wear as his classic looks, but certainly offered stylish men something new and clever to put in their wardrobes.

“I wanted traces of non-conformity,” explained the designer. No wonder he’s teamed up with Lady Gaga for her video of “Alejandro.”

Armani also sent out some feather-light leather looks, though his insistence on injecting dashes of shiny lemon or lime into many looks did not quite work.

However, Armani did really hit his stride at the finale, where his series of putty gray cotton suits and charming technically finished sky blue jackets would make most men look sharp.

If there was a defining textile this season in Milan, it was seersucker, which appeared on a half-dozen designer catwalks. Well, who produced the best takes on this classic? Armani, who ended his show and effectively the four-day Milan season with a series of seersucker jackets, mainly paired with gingham pants, in what he called “an ironic take on the traditional dandy.”

Call it a big win for the non-conformist in us all.

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