Giorgio Armani PRE-FALL 2020

The collection, called Transformism, conveyed a free-spirited attitude.

 “It’s about a woman who wants to transform herself following her moods and feelings,” explained Mr Armani, who at 85 is as fit and sharp-witted as ever. “When one thinks about my style, subtle changes, and slight adjustments come to mind. Here, I wanted to give women more freedom to be different. And I wanted once again to play on mixing genders.” Nobody can deny Armani his game-changing role in redefining the masculine/feminine dynamics and in pioneering a modern fashion language, which decades ago set a framework for today’s gender-fluid aesthetics. In the Pre-Fall collection, he seemed to hit the refresh button on the theme.

The collection was (not surprisingly) an ode to the pantsuit, with jackets offered in a multitude of iterations. Masculine blazers were softened and cut as relaxed as shirts or were hybridized into elegant bombers in geometric-patterned jacquard velvet. A double-breasted jacket in thick chevron knit was nipped at the waist and softly hourglass-y, while classic black tuxedos were proposed in abbreviated versions for every day, worn with sporty, ’80s-inspired ankle-cropped pants. The play on shapes alternated between short and boxy and elongated and fluid, from more rounded to slender. The designer’s flair for bold accessorizing was on full display.

The evening was equally expressive. A slender, ankle-grazing satin tunic in silver-grey and velvet pyjamas in a vivid shade of lacquer red had a languid sensuality, while a sequin-tasselled capelet gave an opulent allure to an otherwise simple black silk blouse paired with slim velvet trousers. A few red carpet numbers were sequined and shimmering, yet even if richly embroidered and styled with gusto, their slender silhouettes exuded a very Armani tendency for balance and poise. The leopard can’t change his spots. (