Layers, drapes, leather jackets light enough for spring–Armani goes cool and airyBy Alex Y. Vergara
Philippine Daily Inquirer
For his spring/ summer 2013 collection, Giorgio Armani has again drawn inspiration from Hollywood celebrities, but without forgetting his core market of more affluent and fashionable career women.
These qualities were again evident in a recent fashion presentation in Hong Kong showcasing the designer’s tailored pieces consisting of pantsuits, jackets, dresses, shorts and fluid separates made of cotton, silk, organza and soft calf leather. Apart from black and charcoal gray, Armani went for such colors as dove gray, off white, light blue and jade in keeping with the warmer season.
A number of pieces, particularly Armani’s printed and tiered tops, palazzo pants, skirts and dresses, were done in gradating shades of jade with touches of black. For more formal events, he limited the bling to several red carpet-worthy beaded black dresses inspired by stars and space.
Layering, combining soft and more rigid materials and pairing knee-length dresses and see-through overlays with loose, ankle-grazing pants were also among Armani’s key looks this coming season. These items, including the designer’s men’s wear collection, will be available in stores by the third week of February.
Thanks to advances in technology, Armani and his Milan-based team were able to do several light-colored leather coats and jackets that were thin and presumably cool enough for spring and early summer. In fact, he was able to make his clothes look light and airy despite all that layering and juxtaposition.
Most of his women’s pieces were neither too loose nor too close to the body. Apart from the designer’s loose trousers, most of his pieces, including his tailored jackets, flattered and skimmed their wearers’ figures.
When it came to accessories, Armani has eschewed platforms in favor of open-toe and ankle-strap sandals with less dizzying heel heights. Apart from the designer’s trademark black lace-ups, he also did a number of flat slip-ons in black and adorned with shiny gold studs.
For Giorgio Armani men, the designer offered a wide range of options, from classic and wearable suits and blazers to more daring and offbeat tailored jackets made of “micro-knitted” materials.
As in past seasons, Armani did away with bulky shoulder pads to give his men’s jackets a more tapered and “deconstructed” effect. He also downplayed dark evening suits in favor of more sportswear-inspired ensembles in light checks and soft, knitted fabrics.
Taking advantage of advances made in fabric technology, he produced a black jacket and pea coat made of cotton and lined with contrasting calf leather in tan. Instead of just simply layering them together, the materials were fused seamlessly for a thinner, more streamlined look.
Armani’s pleated trousers were loose, while his shorts, which he sometimes paired with knitted and woven jackets and shirtless vests, were cut just above the knee.
He also showed various permutations of the classic lace-ups in such colors as black, white, gray and tan, and a few updated versions of the spectator shoes in contrasting colors and materials.
For Emporio Armani’s women’s line, the designer played with a palette of warm neutral hues such as matte gold, bronze and a range of so-called spice colors such as cinnamon and caramel, which he combined with starker neutrals such as black, off-white and classic checks.
According to the brand’s press announcement, these warm colors complement in “framing” the wearer’s skin as a form of natural makeup.
Again, the designer, in keeping with Emporio Armani’s younger clientele, opted for a more playful interpretation by combining loose, semi-draped cotton tops with more structured items like shorts, miniskirts and loose, ankle-grazing pants.
A number loose-fitting dresses and separates were either layered and draped or made to look like updated versions of the classic baby-doll dress. The designer also offered women a range of necklines to choose from—from Sabrina to Venus, strapless to round.
The collection was also noteworthy for Armani’s decision to limit it to neutrals and a few soft colors like baby pink, sky blue and hints of maroon and purple. A number of pieces were also fashioned from op-art-inspired prints.
As far as Emporio Armani’s men’s line was concerned, the designer reinterpreted classic looks and inspirations—from Prince of Wales to reliable herringbones—using contemporary fabrics known for their light and streamlined qualities.
Apart from producing a range of earth-tone ensembles in the form of thigh-grazing shorts paired with various tailored coats and jackets, Armani also presented a range of classic black leather jackets, which he toned down by pairing them with white pants.
Again, thanks to technology, Armani was able to produce leather jackets that were light enough for spring. For the more fit and daring, they can opt for Armani’s striped and knitted sweaters combined with a transparent material that shows off the wearer’s chest.
Young men can still go all black in early spring before switching later in the season to Emporio Armani’s earth-tone ensembles consisting of olive and light brown leather jackets and cotton and wool blend trousers.
On top of Emporio Armani’s classic driving moccasins and lace-up men’s brogues, the shoes of the season are fashioned from mocha patent leather speckled with cheetah prints. Similar in silhouette with the classic wingtip, these shoes come either with buckles or with shoelaces.
These solid shoes, according to a press material, are Armani’s favorites because “they emphasize the virility in a man’s step.” The shoes come with a unique sole and uppers with a tortoiseshell effect. Other options include shoes made from “rock-star silver” leather or with micro perforations on vacchetta leather with mesh background.
Emporio Armani is exclusively represented in the Philippines by Stores Specialists, Inc. Its store is at Greenbelt 4, Makati.