Milan Fashion: Armani for Scottish independence

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

MILAN (AP) — Giorgio Armani is for Scotland's free determination, as he is for a woman's freedom to dress as she is — not as a stylist or anyone else wishes she would be.

Armani dipped rather reluctantly into Europe's pressing political question as Scotland votes on whether or not to become independent, at first demurring when asked if he supported independence for Scotland, then saying, "Yes."

But don't think he shies away from politics. The Emporio Armani collection previewed Thursday on the second day of Milan Fashion Week of womenswear previews for next summer and fall was a fashion battle cry as clear as Braveheart's own.

"It is time to reassess, to dress the women who we find around us, not just those who fit the extreme trends," Armani said backstage after the show.

The Emporio Armani, his line for the youthful if not necessarily young, collection fulfills this manifesto. Armani created wide trousers, acknowledging and not negating the female hip like some fellow designers, in addition to close-fitting pants, cuffed above the ankles. Dresses both hugged the curves, with a neat wrap around the waist, or fell loosely around the hips.

Underlying the Emporio line's playful youthfulness, Armani incorporated PVC materials into the clothing, as panels on trousers, under-layers peeking out of the hems of Bermuda shorts, or, most dramatically, as bodices on cocktail dresses.

The Emporio Armani battle hue is blue, more specifically soothing yet electrifying cornflower blue. For Armani, blue is more versatile, grabbing the light, noting that "when I am dressed in black, I don't feel well." The designer typically dresses in a dark navy blue pullover with matching trousers for his runway shows, acknowledging that it can be easily confused with black — but with important, really revolutionary, differences.

"Blue has a different softness, it is less dictating," Armani said. Another plus: "It's thinning."