Giorgio Armani went with the flow for his spring Emporio Armani men’s effort, leaving the spotlight to filmy, liquid fabrics cut into wide pants, roomy shirts and long, robe-like jackets.
A giant metal ginkgo leaf lorded over the runway theatre, suggesting influences from the East, where the ginkgo is a symbol of Tokyo. There were hints of the haori jacket and references to martial arts, including wide, loose pants with boxing-trunk waistbands, plus loose robes reminiscent of the djellaba.
“Between the extreme east and a hypothetical North Africa,” the press notes mused.
It was a focused, contemplative and transporting show that seduced with its lustrous fabrics, languorous drop-shoulder shirts and soft jackets that often fastened on one collarbone and hung open.
There were interludes of technical outerwear, also skewing gossamer, and offbeat tweed hoodies, always paired with wide, flowing pants that drifted over soft, knitted slip-on shoes. Models tread slowly around the perimeter of a square, as glossy as Japanese lacquer.
But Armani kept returning to his long, flowing black and tan layers of tunics, duster coats and those pajama-like pants, climaxing with black-tie versions with satin trim. He dotted small crystals on the slicked-back hair of some models, suggesting stars in a dark desert sky.
Just when you thought the show was over, a dozen Olympic and Paralympic athletes circled the stage, each hoisting an Italian flag and wearing the official kit by EA7 Emporio Armani they will wear to the games in Paris in 2024. An “Armani blue” tracksuit forms the backbone of the kit, which also includes polo shirts, T-shirts, caps and sneakers.
The designer said he was excited by the challenge of creating “functional yet stylish garments, designed to catch the eye and foster a powerful sense of belonging in our athletes.”
The team spirit was palpable as Armani, an icon of Italy, stood amongst the flags and the athletes, soaking up the rapturous applause.