Giorgio Armani Spring Summer Fashion 2012 at Milan Fashion Week – Latest Giorgio Armani Spring Summer Fashion Trends 2012: At Giorgio Armani, orange is never going to be the new black. The brand’s Milan headquarters is a vast concrete and glass temple to neutral colours and clean lines, with a purpose-built catwalk theatre at its heart.
Other designers like to change catwalk venues each season, to reflect changes in their mood, but Giorgio Armani has no need for that. While his peers ricochet between boho and sci-fi, pastels and primaries, Armani keeps a firm hold on the lucrative central ground of neutral chic.
Mother-of-pearl is the base note for next summer’s Giorgio Armani collection. After last season’s powder-pink looks, and the crisp Downton Abbey monochromes of Friday’s Emporio collection, moonlight-greys and watery-blues washed over the catwalk. The flared cropped trousers of last season have been tapered into a more appealing slim line. (There was a slit on the front of most of the trousers; it might be no bad thing if that particular catwalk styling detail was jettisoned before the trousers hit stores.) A highlight were the loose, collarless jackets with concealed fastenings. You have to be a true master to make the complex art of tailoring look that guileless.
The steadfastness of the Armani aesthetic has proved a solid foundation for global expansion. The explosion of the Chinese market has been the fashion industry’s headline story this year; Armani, who opened his first Beijing boutique 13 years ago, has been well-placed to take advantage. The company now has 240 stores in China, selling all lines from the most upmarket catwalk collections to homeware and jeans stores. Latest full-year figures showed that net profits at Giorgio Armani jumped 80% in 2010, from €88.8m in 2009 to €161m . This growth was fuelled by strong sales in China.
Armani is now reaping the rewards of the symbiotic relationship that has existed between the Armani aesthetic and Chinese fashion since long before the country became a luxury market. The collarless Mao jacket, the tunic-over-slim trousers silhouette: many codes of the Armani brand have their roots in the fact that this designer of expensive suits for footballers and politicians also has a strong interest in Eastern modes of dressing.
His passion for neutrals has never dulled Armani’s enthusiasm for the red carpet. After a strong daywear section, Monday’s collection flagged into unbecomingly shiny eveningwear, but picked itself up for one final photo opportunity: a trio of embellished, sinewy gowns, surely Hollywood-bound come award season, in – can you guess? – mother of pearl.
Giorgio Armani’s next venture is the opening of an Armani Hotel in Milan later this year. The hotel, which will boast a glassed penthouse restaurant with panoramic views over Milan, has been designed with just 70 bedrooms, a limited-edition trick which is bound to make those rooms sought after by fashion week attendees.
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