When one hears the name Armani, one instantly thinks of suit, or at least, one should. That doesn’t change with this fall/winter collection. What is changing, however, is how the suit is defined and constructed and Giorgio Armani is in charge of the dictionary. Sure, there’s still the masculine tailored look that has always been popular, but more than ever with this season we see Armani branching out into styles and silhouettes that are new for the label, including some fabrics we’ve not seen him use before. Here’s what you need to know.

Armani has gone green. Not so much in the sense of renewable resourced fabrics, but as in there is so much green in this collection one might mistakenly think Armani has gone Irish. There are some shale blues and an appropriate amount of black and grey, and sometimes he even takes the green light enough that it almost appears to be yellow-ish in hue. Still, if one doesn’t look good in green you’re going to find this a challenging collection.

Silhouettes are changing. While the masculine tailored look will never really go completely out of style, Armani shows more of a preference for curves over straight lines, and is especially fond of crossover draping in jackets and tops. Where this ultimately ends up is with a stringy crossover shawl/cape piece that almost seems to defy gravity. I have to admit, when I first saw it I was amazed at its structure, then immediately questioned how one is supposed to hang it up when it’s not being worn. The looks really do more to flatter the female form, though, than with previous collections. There are a lot of slacks in this collection, cut full to provide for plenty of movement, with hems that hit just above the ankle. Skirts are also fuller but with very little folding so they’re allowed to flow naturally.

Small-block geometric prints are Armani’s choice for this season. We see them scattered through several different looks, and he even takes the concept 3D with a leather jacket covered in tabs so that it moves as one walks. He switches from strict squares for the gowns, but then, the gowns have always been unique pieces separate from the themes of the rest of the collection. There are a few pieces with leopard print, which seems a bit gratuitous, as though someone required every freakin’ collection to have leopard print somewhere, and some of the coats are covered in long goats hair, which we’ve seen a lot. Other coats, though, sport a more contemporary gradient in the wool.

Shoes can be comfortable. Yes, there are plenty of heels as we expect from Armani, but there are also plenty of flat-soled options as well, including one that looks suspiciously like combat boots, but not quite as heavy. Most of the options are ankle-high and made of suede which should be comfortable in addition to looking incredibly good.

Giorgio Armani has always been a leader in fashion and the tone he set this morning continues that tradition. While he’s not going to any ridiculous extremes, he is setting a strong standard for collections to come.



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