Armani dress­eswomen ig­nored by high fash­ion

The Denver Post - - LIFE& CULTURE - By Robin Givhan

With a proud drum­roll and a fancy Paris cel­e­bra­tion, Giorgio Armani un­veiled a new wom­enswear lineMon­day that he’s dubbed the New Nor­mal.

In black- and- white por­traits by pho­tog­ra­pher Peter Lind­bergh, mod­els are dressed in an ar­ray of wear­able, so­phis­ti­cated sports­wear that might re­mind shop­pers of the kind of lux­u­ri­ous re­straint typ­i­fied by The Row or Cé­line or even COS— which is to say that the New Nor­mal will re­mind them of clas­sic Armani.

The ad­ver­tis­ing for the fall col­lec­tion in­cludes Eva Herzigova, Stella Ten­nant, Yas­min Le Bon and Nadja Auer­mann— not the most di­verse group of su­per­mod­els, but all past the age of 40 ( Le Bon is now 51). In that way, they re­flect the de­mo­graphic of the women most likely able to af­ford th­ese clothes, which range from $ 850 for a pair of trousers to $ 7,000 for out­er­wear. It is also Giorgio Armani showed his cou­ture line , above, in Paris, as well as New Nor­mal sports­wear. Vit­to­rio Zunino Celotto, Getty Im­ages the de­mo­graphic that fash­ion no­to­ri­ously ig­nores.

To make a pair of trousers worth that kind of cash, there surely must be magic in them. While Armani is not promis­ing any kind of voodoo, he is of­fer­ing what he de­scribes as “time­less gar­ments that main­tain the val­ues of el­e­gance and dig­nity.”

It seems like that would be an ob­vi­ous goal for fash­ion at any time, but in the frock trade, noth­ing is ever quite that sim­ple.

Even Armani had strayed from the source of his suc­cess.

Some 40 years ago, the de­signer es­tab­lished his rep­u­ta­tion in menswear. And through­out the 1980s and ’ 90s, his ac­claim grew as he turned his at­ten­tion to wom­enswear and the red car­pet

He helped women look pow­er­ful and ca­pa­ble thanks to his jack­ets with their soft shoul­ders, easy sil­hou­ettes and fab­rics that gen­tly draped. His color pal­ette wasn’t over­whelmed with ob­vi­ous jewel tones or pre­cious pas­tels, but it wasn’t stark black or navy ei­ther. It was filled with sub­tle shades of gray and a thou­sand vari­a­tions of beige. His clothes looked so­phis­ti­cated.

But as much as fash­ion yearns for change, so do de­sign­ers. In the 2000s, the in­dus­try as a whole be­came ob­sessed with in­genues, star­lets, hip­ster artists and cul­tural cu­riosi­ties.

Armani— the orig­i­na­tor of clean- lined so­phis­ti­ca­tion— has re­turned to his roots. “I wanted to cre­ate es­sen­tial and con­cise pieces that sum­ma­rize 40 years of style that have de­fied the test of time,” Armani said in an e- mail.

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