#SuzyMFW: Armani’s 21st-Century Suits

Giorgio Armani serves as a mentor to the movies

Who could have thought what a difference a jacket could make? At least, if it is designed by Giorgio Armani and worn by a young girl over her mother’s red dress as she preps for an interview. A surreal and scary boss – more like a futuristic robot – was placed in the modernist design of the maestro’s Silos exhibition building.

Una Giacca or ‘A Jacket’ was the subject of the short film.

“The Silos looks amazing,” said Armani, as he saw for the first time in the Teatro Armani the work of students from an intensive laboratory-cum-workshop that the designer has founded. With a stage full of mentors talking about their students’ work, the film was unveiled immediately after the new fashion collection had been shown.

The importance of cut and shape has always been the essence of the Giorgio Armani collections. Not knowing anything about the film experience ahead, I singled out the ‘soft power’ jackets that opened the show as the key to the designer’s approach for the season. The other story was colour, as Armani’s Il Signor Beige phase is long gone. Red, purple, navy blue and black were all in the mix.

There may have been furry hats, patterned pieces as well as plain and a penchant for pale dawn pinks, but the designer, after all these years, still sees the jacket as the wardrobe’s kingpin.

For Autumn/Winter 2018, jackets were more important and more variable than ever: light as a cardigan, firmly cut in padded pale pink – and sometimes as shapely, although not as severe – as the men’s tailoring. With all the current discussions about gender issues, the godfather that is the pantsuit continues to offer trousers as a partner to a jacket. A handful of skirts made a bid for attention in colours on soft satin. But the jacket and trousers combo was the only convincing pairing.

It would have been fascinating to talk to the film students and find out how their thoughts chimed with Armani’s vision. Judging by the show and the film, the distance between the two, although so far apart in age, may not have seemed in spirit so far away.

Emporio Armani goes green

It was back to tailoring at Emporio Armani – generally defined as the house’s more sporty and youthful collection. But the designer had smartened things up, from the graphic pattern of the grass-green Emporio logo high above the entry point to the casual clothes themselves.

That green shade appeared throughout the show – striking in a checked shorts suit with a long shapely jacket above a sporty lower half.

This grown-up collection, suggesting a young woman with a work ethic, included tailored coats in fluffy fabrics (but not fur).

Mr Armani explained how he had put the show together, “I enjoy watching people, bringing into my world the spirit of what I see around me – processing and reinventing it,” the designer said. “Today, everything gets mixed up – that is the freedom I wanted to capture in this collection.”