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Giorgio Armani's Neo-Classics

Giorgio Armani called his collection “Neo-Classics,” but he knew the classics were all his: barely structured jackets, generously proportioned trousers, the lustre of velvet and the silvery echoes of 1930s movies.
Giorgio Armani Autumn/Winter 2017 | Source: InDigital.tv
By
  • Tim Blanks

MILAN, Italy — There are collections where Giorgio Armani quests. Then there are those where he rests. In his reflective twilight years, the latter tend to be the most convincing.  And so it was with the menswear he showed on Tuesday morning. He called the collection "Neo-Classics," but he knew the classics were all his: the barely structured jackets caressing the torso, the generously proportioned trousers, the lustre of velvet, the palette of sensuous neutrals and the silvery echoes of 1930s movies. And that particular shade of deep Armani blue, which is usually the harbinger of his most successful collections. The "Neo" came with the sportiness: shoes-cum-sneakers, hoodies, a drawstrung easiness.

What was most striking was how kind these clothes were. As conservative as a grey suit, a white collar and tie could get, Armani diffused the uptightness by wrapping it in burgundy velvet. Then he ditched the noose entirely in favour of something shirtless, double-breasted, high-closing. The central conceit of the collection was a scarf of sleeves, which was shown either draped like a huge muffler, or with the models' arms inserted, criss-crossing the body, wrapping it, straitjacket style, except it was actually a cocoon. A deep, enveloping cocoon of  soft wool, or fuzzy mohair, or the primal warmth of fur. It was odd, but utterly engaging.   And its curious, convenient logic also harked back to Armani the quester. Never really resting after all. 

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