Milan Menswear: Uniform Dressing at Giorgio Armani And Moncler Gamme Bleu
Every one of the models Giorgio Armani sent out today was accessorized with a black beret and a pair of glasses (“spectacles” is probably more appropriate to convey their slightly retro style). The combination made the men look like student thinkers, or maybe even revolutionaries. The show notes were, in fact, keen on the idea of a revolution “liberating the Armani man from any trace of the commercialization that has taken over the world of fashion,” but Armani didn’t go on to provide a new uniform for his insurrectionists. Instead, he offered them the trusted house style: fluid, soft, plush-piled jackets and pants. A more radical gesture was stripping them of their shirts, and the waistcoats buttoned over bare skin actually did have a Fabio-on-the-barricades kind of flair, especially in leather. But when Armani showed denim jackets, they were a far cry from the blue-jeans rebels of the sixties. His were shawl-collared, or velvet-lapeled.
See more pictures of the Giorgio Armani Fall 2010 show here.
While fashion often claims to value individuality, it’s much more appealing to the dictatorial tendencies of designers to remodel an army of men in their ideal, uniform image. Uniformity is Thom Browne’s unabashed holy grail. At his show for Moncler Gamme Blue last night, he set the scene with a barracks-full of slumbering young soldiers. They were lying on their backs, so motionless (their Wee Willie Winkie sleeping caps stretched out neatly on the floor under their cots) that some in the audience feared they’d frozen to death, it being even more sub-zero in the Padiglione Visconti than it was outside. But their stillness—I saw only one nose scratch—was a testament to Browne’s own ferociously disciplined vision, and it held throughout the “performance” as the boys were roused by a reveille bugle call, kitted up like a snow patrol in their Moncler parkas, ski pants, and snow boots, and did a circuit of the room. The clothes? Possibly Browne’s most consistent collection of any he’s been responsible for since he launched his own line in 2001. He’s clearly responded very well to the discipline of designing clothing that must be functional (even life-savingly so, as in, Oops! Here comes an avalanche!) before it is anything else. And the discipline has edited the overt whimsy from his signature tailored pieces.
See more pictures of the Moncler Gamme Bleu Fall 2010 show here.