The king is alive and well.
Right after his men’s spring show, which for the designer marked the return to the physical format, Giorgio Armani gathered journalists in a gazebo in the garden of his building on Milan’s Via Borgonuovo to reassure them about his physical condition. Twenty days ago, the designer fell down the stairs in a local movie theater and he broke his left shoulder. “You cannot imagine the pain,” he said, showing a big scar running down his arm.
Despite the difficulties, the designer was back on track for fashion week and on Monday night in Milan he took the final bow holding the hand of his longtime collaborator Leo Dell’Orco, who works with him on the men’s line. Actually, Armani praised the work of Dell’Orco and of his niece Silvana Armani, who is at his side on the women’s line. “I’m preparing my future with the people around me,” said Armani, hinting at the fact that the two will play a key role in the future evolution of the company.
However, Armani with this show demonstrated he remains firmly at the helm of his empire. And despite his dislike of the idea of trends — a concept he again reiterated during the meeting after the show — his take on men’s fashion over the past few decades has never been as in vogue as it is today.
In a world where ease and effortlessness are returning to the center stage, Armani’s signature sense of style is immensely relevant. The designer’s laid-back elegance can be the real option for those men who want to embrace comfort without renouncing sophistication. “A man must always preserve its allure,” said Armani, and the models who walked his latest runway had plenty of that.
A sense of overall lightness resonated throughout the collection. It influenced the choice of materials — tactile but featherweight — as well the fluidity of the silhouettes, and the refreshing vibe of the color palette, where neutrals were juxtaposed with summer pops of electric blue, emerald green and red.
Deconstructed suits were presented next to charming separates, where pleated pants or Bermuda shorts were matched with languid blazers, but also with over shirts and bombers crafted from suiting fabrics.
Intarsia sweaters revealed delicate graphics inspired by the world of nature, which also influenced the motifs peppering the vests, while silk was crafted for the elegant shirts that at night, tucked into pants, as Armani suggested, can be worn without blazers for a simplified take on evening attire.
Armani, who back in February 2020 was the first to decide to stage his fall 2020 show behind closed doors to limit the coronavirus infections that were quickly spiking in Milan during fashion week, closed the show with some models wearing face masks. “It’s a reminder that the pandemic is not over. Hopefully things are getting better, but it’s not time to lower the guard.” Definitely words of wisdom.