So reliable is the aesthetic at Giorgio Armani that you could set your clock to it. The 88-year-old designer, season after season, hones and perfects the cut and lines, the fit and structure of his clothing that speaks so much without ever having to shout.
Allowing house codes to continue unimpeded throughout his collections – the nehru collar, the layered tailoring, the use of contrast volume in the trousers – Armani instead focuses on manipulating the surfaces of the garments. Whether that’s via a rakishly crinkled suit, the geometric jacquard of jackets or simple sumptuousness of textures, surfaces under his hand become complex.
This collection, according to the show notes, found inspiration in the architecture of Milan. It’s ancient marble communal areas reflected in the prints; it’s hard concrete areas were softened by the use of cashmere and velvets. Colour palettes – a hundred shades of varying greys, sapphire and black – were layered, highlighting the details of individual pieces as they overlapped.
Suiting was intertwined with outdoor and what looked like tactical-inspired garments, blazers worn over the crisp utilitarianism of cargo pants. Quilted puffers and ski gear revved up the energy, not just via the red colour palette but also because of the wild that thought that perhaps après ski fashion might be ideal to battle urban winters, not just for the slopes.
But it wasn’t all informal. In fact, there was very much Armani’s signature formality translated via velvet suiting and evening wear in a stunning finale, an ending to the story that began in the city, detoured through the mountains and returned for a night on the town.