Fifty Shades Of Grey would be the perfect title for Georgio Armani’s autobiography. What could define his fifty-year long career better? Season upon season he takes the fluid grey suit that made him so successful and tweaks it, turns it, loosens it and refreshes it again (this S/S it came with a Prince of Wales herringbone caban jacket and fifties-style Bermuda shorts). The Fifty Shades label seems extra apt this season given the subtle erotic undertones of the Emporio Armani showing. Models were sent down the runway in pairs, often clad in matching outfits walking side-by-side, buffed muscular arms grazing like jocks out cruising. Occasionally a whole pack appeared like a movie-style soccer squad, a vision of casual sportswear and clean-cut tailoring. There was even a set of burley identical twins thrown in, clad in matching blazers - with one in leather shorts - if that’s not worthy of E. L. James then I don’t know what is.
Even the clothing had a sensual vibe. A selection of knits appeared with fleshy sheer stripes revealing muscular torsos, transforming the models that wore them into fetish sailors. The homoerotic locker room vibe came to a climax (pardon the pun) at the end of the showing. Projected against the back of Armani’s minimal via bergognone palace came a dynamic black and white film showing off young Italian athletes in action, followed by the arrival of a hunks in trunks flash mob sporting Armani’s white’s Olympic speedos on the runway to round things off. Saucy.
Other than the natty catwalk arrangement and visible nipples, the bulk of the show was classic Armani. Titled Impeccable (presumably just as much a comment on the model’s physiques as the clothing) the collection offered his signature fusion of smart and casual through fluid shapes and a neutral palette of blues, beige and the aforementioned grey. All in all this was a steady showcase, boosted by the amusing sexual undertones, a surprise inclusion given Armani’s once committed asexual, androgynous approach to fashion.