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Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2017 Milan

Showing us he has a good old-fashioned sense of humour and knows how to poke a bit of fun at himself – or celebrate himself, or both – Giorgio Armani sent out a winner of a T-shirt among his Spring/Summer 2017 collection today: a black and white smiling portrait of himself, worn with a loose and light jacket as per the rest of the collection. It was fun and funny and deserved the on-cue clapping it so got. Because this was the piece!

Full of fluid, airy fabrics — and zero padding at the shoulder — Giorgio Armani’s latest collection was aimed at a changing customer.

 “Men need less structured clothing today. Their bodies have changed — and improved — and I also think they’re a lot more daring in the way they dress,” said the designer, whose array of laid-back, deconstructed tailoring was in step with the season’s overall mood.

Trousers came in carrot and wide-leg shapes — some so breezy they could have doubled as pajama bottoms — and were done in swooshy silk, cotton and linen. Some were printed, their patterns inspired by painted wall tiles in the Caribbean, while others came in solid tones of distressed or sun-faded gray, powder or denim blue and dark red.

 Armani admitted that some of the widest trousers weren’t for him — “not really appropriate at 82,” he deadpanned backstage, adding the silhouette was nonetheless important this season. “It’s the counterpoint to those asphyxiating cigarette pants,” said the designer, adding his priorities were clean lines and lots of movement.

 He balanced the trousers’ volumes with a host of snug jackets in featherweight linen, knit, textured cotton and seersucker. Some were cropped and boxy with a workwear feel. Others had patch pockets in a nod to safari styles, while still others doubled as shirts, as in one with a faded windowpane check.

 Armani’s nod to evening came in a lineup of dark blue jackets with black lapels and wide trousers. It was an elegant segment, and there will no doubt be a host of men out there prepared to hang up their skinny trousers and exhale.

Yes, the rest was another solid Armani collection and adhered to its suiting style codes, the house DNA of stone, blue, and cream shades; it was easy and breezy, smart and sophisticated, but this put a little spoke in the works, it was a little spark, a little gem – and can be worn by those who aren’t Armani wearers full time, too. And that’s the difference. It was a bit like a fashion band T-shirt in this respect. And as Italian fashion icons go, Mr Armani is surely one of them. Are you with Giorgio Armani? 

Backstage at the Giorgio Armani Men’s Spring Summer 2017 fashion show: 

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