Mood board: Austrian theorist of design, Adolf Loos, once said, ‘Be not afraid of being called unfashionable. Changes in the traditional way of building are only permitted if they are an improvement. Otherwise stay with what is traditional, for truth, even if it be hundreds of years old has a stronger inner bond with us than the lie that walks by our side.’ Armani’s show, entitled ‘The Man in the Magnifying Glass,’ was infused with unabashed reverence for the classics. Under collars for A/W 20 took their finishing from the traditions of tailoring and were made in contrast velvet, moleskin and wool cloth. Armani chose to review the texture and pattern of menswear heritage using chevron, herringbone, diagonals and plaid for his sportier line. The clothes were rooted in active 21st century life, driven by the desire to explore a world of skiing, climbing and hiking beyond the streets.
Best in show: Thrown over tailored macs, slim, fine herringbone and dog-tooth gilets took their pockets from hunting and fishing jackets. A padded bomber was extended to a more formal dress-coat length. Buttoned vest jackets had their necks up high and sharp. The collection was a study in proportion that translated archetypal Armani codes into new contexts. Black crystal dots and lines appeared on suiting and jersey. Standout was a three piece technical suit; a collarless waist jacket zipped up the body, worn with a big robe coat and roomy pant. For evening a host of glittery intergalactic textures made their way onto suits and dinner jackets studded with tiny crystals or in lurex and metallic shimmer.
Scene setting: As the Australian bushfires rage, the political debates around climate change have formed an unsettling yet essential backdrop to the shows. The conversation is already in full swing: Alessandro Sartori at Zegna has implemented sustainability in the way his clothes are manufactured and conceived. Marni’s show spaces and collections have recycled plastics gathered from the studio. Mr Armani unveiled his own project today: to conclude the show, the digital screens wrapped around the space spelled out: ‘I’m saying yes to recycling’. The parade of models walked in sportif clothes, each made using recycled materials, each branded with the new R EA tag.
London based writer Dal Chodha is editor-in-chief of Archivist Addendum — a publishing project that explores the gap between fashion editorial and academe. He writes for various international titles and journals on fashion, art and culture and is a contributing editor at Wallpaper*. Chodha has been working in academic institutions for more than a decade and is Stage 1 Leader of the BA Fashion Communication and Promotion course at Central Saint Martins. In 2020 he published his first book SHOW NOTES, an original hybrid of journalism, poetry and provocation.
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