Emporio Armani puts comfort first with sporty show

Giorgio Armani has teamed with Bugatti to out a limited-edition range of clothing and accessories. ┬ęGiorgio Armani for Bugatti

Tired of tottering? Ditch the heels and dress down your elegant furs or velvets with golden trainers with the backing of Giorgio Armani, who unveiled a sporty Emporio collection Friday.

Held in the historic Armani theatre in Milan, the autumn-winter 2017 show charmed with polka dots and checks — and is likely to be enthusiastically embraced by those longing for luxury brands to put comfort first.

The veteran Italian designer said his line for the younger customer was “marked by a restless, metropolitan spirit, constructed from opposites”, the key lying in the contrast between classic and modern styles and fabrics.

There was a black wool coat with white faux fur sleeves from cuff to elbow and a matching fur collar. And soft velvet jackets paired with checkered skirts in PVC, while duffel coats were large and bags compressed.

Floral prints and sequins lit up the runway to the beats of Elton John’s 1976 “Don’t go breaking my heart” and the 1987 duet “I knew you were waiting” by Aretha Franklin and George Michael.

While the few evening dresses on show sparkled in sugar pinks or silvers, much of the collection was black and white or chevron, lifted with flashes of colour on the borders of scarves or in the side panels of flat, comfortable boots.

– Transparent PVC skirts –

Plastrons — ornamental shirt fronts popular in the late 19th century — were made of rows of bows, evoking a black tie look.

The few male models wore wide black trousers with darts, topped with coats with fur lapels or blue velvet jackets.

A black dress with a sporty white horizontal line down the front was worn under a polka-dot jacket, while a black-and-white coat in Prince of Wales check was jazzed up with a red stripe on the lapels and red shoes with an ankle strap.

The most eye-catching pieces though had to be the PVC skirts — transparent but worn with modest nude tights underneath — and the tiny gold or white box bags which dangled from chains or were worn across the body.

Armani, 82, will show his Giorgio collection on Monday, as Milan fashion week winds up and hands over to Paris.

The sole owner of a group he founded in 1975, Armani — who has no children of his own or obvious heir — created a foundation last year that will be charged with ensuring that the company continues to be run according to his principles in the future.