Italian designer Giorgio Armani offered soft, fluid looks at Milan Fashion Week on Sunday, with plenty of lightness and shimmer for women’s wardrobes next summer. The 89-year-old fashion veteran opened his show, “Vibes,” with a champagne jacket and satin grey trousers. Several outfits with the same color combination followed – cropped shirts, jackets, and strapless dresses over trousers. The collection, featuring diaphanous chiffon tops and off-shoulder gowns, moved from shades of grey to blues, greens, and purples that blended into each other. The luminous colors were underscored by a changing hue on the back wall of the showroom at his central Milan headquarters. A giant pencil, a reference to the designer’s work process, cast a shadow on it.
The collection drew inspiration from world travel, with silhouettes referencing Italian sartorialism and the ease and construction of Chinese dress. But the most compelling looks were those that leaned toward an ethereal aesthetic. That ethos was illustrated in how the house’s extensive use of silk and satin and translucent and diaphanous fabrics evoked the idea of light filtering through clouds. The house’s notes characterized the look as ‘a return to the essence of Emporio Armani, purified to the core and seen through the moonlight filter.’
Armani tapped into the trend for laid-back tailoring by deconstructing blazers and suits. He reworked wool in all of its various weights, offering jackets that straddled the line between formalwear and loungewear and linen track pants that walked the line between casual eveningwear and athleisure wear. He paired the more relaxed fabrics with silk shirts draping loosely across the shoulders and replaced buttoned collars with soft rollnecks.
The collection also explored the resurgence of floral prints in a more natural, unstructured way. That approach was echoed by the use of lace featured throughout the show. Lace was used for several slinky long frocks, skirts, and short leather dresses. A few satin and chiffon looks injected a sense of luxury, with models wearing sheer blouses decorated with floral motifs or adorned with crystals. The finale included a set of frothy tulle gowns with voluminous sashes that resembled a wedding veil. At Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label, the brand paired its tailored looks with a range of oversized straw hats. As the designer has done for years, a few of the looks were embellished with sparkle. But the most striking accessories were a series of slouchy, wide-legged trousers worn with flat shoes that evoked fishermen’s sandals or espadrilles.