Technical innovation, superb construction, original finishes, reconfigured materials – the Spring/Summer 2011 Emporio Armani menswear collection is a statement of contemporary values. The fabrics are lighter, reduced, transformed. There is a loose featherweight weave for a stunning take on the blazer, coated yarns for constructed gilets that are virtually jackets, and trenches as lightweight as shirts. These are genuine objects of desire for a completely refreshed wardrobe.
For summer sun, even city wear has been pared down. Jackets lose their sleeves, and trousers are replaced by Bermudas, which are always teamed with leggings. Small transparent inserts emphasise the stitching on the jackets, while shirts are in featherweight creponne. Leather features throughout – from trousers to jackets and blousons – and is given star treatment with laser cuts and animal print: armadillo, tortoise, crocodile, fish scales. Unusual motifs become graphic themes, such as the chain print on shirts, scarves and slim biker jackets as informal as a gilet. Burnished chains feature as belts and braces and accessories with powerful erotic appeal, like the small triangle in metal mesh to be knotted like a mini scarf. Piercing gives a fluid momentum to the surface of leather that almost looks knitted, as well as to stretch cotton. Sophisticated city colours include cool shades of putty, beige and grey, plus optic white, off-white and black; there are also camouflage prints. Accessories are all important: lace-ups in camouflage or split leather, patterned flip-flops, two-tone moccasins. Large camouflage bags come in crocodile print. For the seaside there are Lycra leggings in crocodile print, and one-piece swimsuits.