It takes a special kind of design wizardry to take a single material and transform it into 20+ looks, but that is exactly what Giorgio Armani did for Fall/Winter 2014. His weapon of choice was gray flannel, and with calculated acumen he gave it to us in feminine separates, reprised menswear, and warm outerwear. Chic single-button jackets, loose trousers, and blunt-cut capes carried forth the finery of flannel, but Armani cheekily inserted touches of lime, lemon, and neon yellow into the neutral onslaught for both visual reprieve and a sense of continuity. As the show progressed, more of his green-and-yellow palette emerged, until it had practically taken over. There were sensational feather toppers that pit sky gray against citron, silky lemon shifts, olive frocks, and neon python jackets. Textures ranged from nubby knits found on fitted suits to vinyl that was slashed to ribbons on a loose kimono-sleeve top. He wrapped monochrome citrus coordinated separates in lacquered and beaded netting, and dusted a shrunken blazer with a stardust pattern of glitter. Not only was he able to make gray flannel the star of a huge collection at Milan Fashion Week, he utilized unexpected and unusual pairings for results that were incredibly stylish. For Fall/Winter 2014, think flapper-meets-dandy-meets-vixen and you’ll get close to the singular and exciting look Armani achieved.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway