Charmani was the title of Giorgio Armani’s spring/summer 2017 collection. A word play on ‘charm’, Mr Armani hoped to seduce showgoers with a series of wafting sheer-silk layered looks in painterly blue watercolours. It was a study in femininity and elegance. As a designer, you’re constantly looking at the body, and at 82 years of age, Mr Armani is incredible shape himself, down to a rigorous exercise regime and his love of sports, the subject of which is the focus of his energetic photography exhibition, Emotions of the Athletic Body, a show of portraits and short films exploring the athlete in motion. Among his guests at yesterday’s opening were a dozen or so athletes from the Rio Olympics (Armani had the gig of outfitting the Italian team). Happily, this season, with body-skimming Louche pajama suiting and all-flattering reveal and conceal looks at play, one won’t need the body of an athlete to wear it.
At a time when several designers are merging men’s and women’s collections into a single show – regularly witnessed at Burberry and Gucci for example – there was the welcome sighting of men on Mr Armani’s runway this morning, a new addition to proceedings here. It wasn’t a statement in gender fluidity (that isn’t Armani’s thing) but the men’s tailored offering – double-breasted dinner jackets and roomy ankle-skimming trousers – no doubt struck a chord with female showgoers who might just find themselves wondering into the men’s department the next time they’re in store.