Giorgio Armani titled his latest show "Velvet Man,"
and there was certainly truth in advertising in that.
His signature men's collection was a paean to the
plush stuff. There was scarcely an outfit that didn't
render at least one of its components in velvet, most
often the trousers, which Armani showed in a generous
new volume that flapped around the ankles. (They also
came high-waisted with suspenders.)
Velvet spilled over suit jackets in the form of hoods, or peeked out from underneath in jewel-toned frog-closed waistcoats. Shirts were printed with velvet roses; blazers came in velvet tweed, plaid, or a faded argyle. There was even a pair of shoes in herringbone-patterned velvet. The fabric loaned itself well to Armani's favored color scheme of mushrooms, taupes, and heathery grays, and it was the perfect complement to the gentle tailoring that is also his signature. (Crepe-soled shoes underscored the comfort factor.)
After a while though, a body began to yearn for a little structure. Just in time, an overcoat in double-faced cashmere came as a blessed relief from the soft parade. As for the eccentric twists we have come to expect from Armani of late, a sauvage collar-less fur coat, a silver weekend bag, and crimson suede slip-ons caught the eye. He himself stood up and was counted as a Velvet Man for his final bow, in a plush black jacket, white shirt, and tie.