Giorgio Armani Gets Smoothly Sporty

Welcome to the new sporting chic. On Tuesday, June 26, the final day of the Italian menswear season, Giorgio Armani presented an entire collection devoted to the concept of gentlemanly sports style.
Though the designer opened with some brilliantly cut news casual suits - cut in the fabric of the season, tightly woven jute - the big news this season at Armani is that sport is cool again.
Nothing underlined that more than Armani's great finale - ignited by a series of high-tech, and sculptural trench-coats, finished with massive naval buttons, and a succeeding quartet of sleek rowers in shorts and jerkins, made in the designer's signature "three dimensional" zig zag prints, in a form so small they dazzled the eyes. Right before Armani took his bow, a team of five boulevard dandies in a matching white suits with shorts appeared, raising their pork-pie fedoras in unison on the runway as if accepting winning team medals.
"I could have gone for that old idea of healthy style; The Great Gatsby at a polo game in the Hamptons. But I wanted a modern impeccable elegance," Armani said backstage in his giant Milan show space, where all his Italian shows are staged.
The new athletic style made for a looser, more forgiving silhouette, the better to admit all those muscular torsos and legs. And throughout the detailing was sporty - from contrast amber hued zippers to coordinated buttons to the ample knits.
A day earlier in his Emporio Armani show, the designer spent practically the whole collection on the beach, though most of the time poised to work out. The first two dozen models wore shorts, and that show finished with the projection of "Olimpiadi," a black-and-white video homage to the Italian Olympic team, which Armani is outfitting.


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