Gucci and Emporio Armani at Milan Fashion Week: Italian classics have men reaching for their wallets, not iPhones

The twenty-first century habit of instantly recording a show and broadcasting the results across social media is damaging to fashion - but some designers aren't playing ball

Milan

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but for a new breed of fashion watchers, the iPhone is mightiest of all. Those are what gets whipped out of bags and held aloft at a twenty-first century fashion show, instantly recording and broadcasting the results across social media. Analysis? Who cares? Just get that stuff out there, and let's move onto the next.

It's something that's damaging to fashion, this lack of depth and of thought. It's also demanding showier clothing and flashier presentations, and many, many more of them. The international menswear weeks now overlap with the Parisian haute couture presentations, which commence in just under a week. The women's pre-Fall collections show concurrently. It's all a bit of a mess.

It also means that some clothing gets overlooked, or overshadowed. The klieg lights that Gucci has used since the mid-nineties days of Tom Ford illuminated the clothes superbly for the audience to note the subtle textures of casentino wool and finely-grained leather. But it makes snapping pictures for Instagram next-to impossible. That isn't something a designer could care about, but a few of the groans were audible.

Frida Giannini, however, eschewed some of the internet theatrics she's engaged with in the past and put her attention squarely into designing beautiful, beautifully-made clothing. It was all deceptively simple, clinging fine knits, leather cut into shirts in camel or baby-blue denim shades, and also drainpipe black jeans worn beneath wool pea-coats and peaked caps. Black closed the show, but the gentlemanly pastels - pistachio, that NHS blue and every shade of beige - made the greatest impact.

Giorgio Armani is a master of spectacle. His clothes may be muted, but the might of the Armani empire is awe-inspiring: his cavernous headquarters in Via Bergognone, a modernist temple of polished concrete and mile-high atriums, gives Mussolini's Stazione di Milano Centrale a run for its monumental money. It's where Mr Armani stages his fashion shows - two during each menswear week and four during womenswear, more than any other Italian house. This season, the monolithic stones of Armani HQ could have been inspiration for the clothes shown for his Emporio Armani line, a muted malatte of pulverised rock-tones (his words, not mine) with mottled moire effects. There was a also a hefty dose of fur - faux, mostly, as fronts to knits sweaters, and wool treated to resemble astrakhan.

Again, this Emporio collection had the kind of subtlety (and spotlighting) that doesn't exactly get the heart of the legions of dot-com fashion watchers pounding. But it does make many a well-suited and booted man reach for his wallet. Giorgio Armani turns eighty this year, and next year marks the fortieth anniversary of his eponymous company. The urge to acquire, not to Instagram, is what allows you to build an empire of that magnitude and success.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?