The new ”Generation Y”
On May 12, Vittorio Brumotti entered the Guinness Book of World Records by making the highest jump ever (almost 56 feet!) on a bicycle into water. On June 23, he vamped all over the Emporio Armani catwalk on his wheels. It was a spectacular way for Giorgio Armani to introduce his new sporting interest. And the ultra-tattooed daredevil Brumotti was clearly the apogee of the “individualist generation” Armani claimed to be courting with this collection. (Front-row face Chace Crawford was possibly another candidate, though he did nothing visibly physical before—or after—the show.) Armani was surfing the group mind with his sense of a stateless generation, united by technology. His show opened with a classic three-piece gray suit, except the trousers wrapped asymmetrically, and the footwear was a boat shoe. And at the end of it all, there was a satin-lapelled evening jacket that looked like something a samurai might wear, paired with black brocade shorts.
The message was a modern one: “Fashion as an expression of the cosmopolitan”. Consequently tailoring was the main fixture, but a notably new cut of suit from the designer. Trousers were cropped above the ankle for summer and created in fine, lightweight wool. Jackets were slightly longer, smart and defined. Hyper-fine jersey T-shirts worn beneath them gave the look a sense of youth in tune with the diffusion line’s original sporting manifesto.
Between those bookends, there was almost too much to contemplate. If the designer’s signature collection was an exercise in adult restraint, this outing felt like an experiment in quirk. One anchor was the cargo short, often in white and sometimes perforated. But there were also wrinkly things, scaly things, burgundy leather mesh, sober suits, lots of orange, deluxe Oriental fabrications, long johns, models on BMX bikes, a grass skort…and a tiny child in pinstripes. Armani’s emporium has become a kind of twenty-first-century Wunderkammer.