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There is a corner of Milano fashion that is forever Armani, where the seasons may come and go but the house will always adhere to its own rigorous aesthetic: “clean lines and clear shapes” which draw a direct line back to the fluid, masculine tailoring on which the brand was built. It’s not fashionable per se, but in a world of ever-changing creative leadership it’s a rare thing to find such an unwavering design philosophy as that of the 81-year-old Giorgio Armani’s.
He’s not immune to the forces of change around him though, or at least that’s what his show notes said of his AW16 collection, dedicated to the “current revolution” in “classic style and digital design”. To which end he delivered a largely monochrome show in black velvets and white, all punctuated with an “explosion” of digital signs — a “sectioned smile” and “multicolour scratches”.
To the untutored eye, his embroidered and sequin appliqués in acid neon pinks, greens and yellows, recalled liquorice Allsorts. The better looks were those that kept it simple, a wool broadcloth coat, a black trouser, and the cleaner velvets were classic Armani — with no added sugar.