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Giorgio Armani Sets Pace for Milan Fashions

October 10, 1986

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Like all things that start with ″A,″ Armani is the ″numero uno″ on the Italian ready-to-wear fashion list. First for taste, first for tailoring, first for natural easy clothes.

For the past 10 years, the 52-year-old designer who woos his clients not only with his clothes but also with his bluish eyes and boyish grin, has been the keynote to the popularity of the Made-in-Italy label throughout the world.

From the elegance of his downtown palazzo to the cut and color of his clothes, to the business know-how behind his multimillion dollar fashion empire, Giorgio Armani epitomizes the fast-paced sophistication of this northern industrial city often called the New York of Italy.

Going to an Armani fashion show is like attending opening night at Milan’s La Scala opera house. The usually hassled and haggard buyers and journalists dress up for the event which takes place in the modern theater of his downtown palazzo and costs an average of $250,000 to put on.

The fashion crowd is always joined by Armani VIP guests which at the Wednesday night presentation of his new spring-summer collection included U.S. actor Larry Hagman and his partner Linda Gray.

Together the audience waits for the show to begin, interrupts with approving applause and inevitably gives the maestro a standing ovation when he comes on the runway to take a final bow.

For the spring-summer 1987 Armani offers his many fans some of the softest, most feminine clothes seen on the Milan runway in years.

Always built around the simple jacket which earned him the title of ″King of the Blazer,″ Armani dresses his warm weather woman in loose-fitting suits with ample cardigan jackets and loose, cuffed pants or long flowing skirts. The suits are worn with a soft silk blouse whose rounded or lapeled collar fits so discreetly underneath that at times it is not necessary at all.

When the jacket is not a cardigan style with a wide 1920s lapel it is a rounded bolero, or is cut like a vest.

Fabrics this spring will be as waspy and whitish-gray as the smog which often envelops this industrial city. Light wool, pastel plaids abound as do tiny silk porcelain floral prints. Airy chiffon in navy is another way of floating down big city boulevards.

There is a demure turn-of-the-century look to much of the collection. The looseness of the trousers recall the timid beginnings of women asserting themselves in a man’s world. Tiny bows often adorn the cuffs to excuse this invasion.

Skirts are countrified and full with little lace pettycoats peeking through the hemline, a touch inherited from their 1890s sisters. Armani offers mesh gloves to go with these graceful daytime outfits.

For the cocktail hour, Armani proposed a series of delicate silk printed dresses decorated at the waist with gentle white piping or chiffon drape dresses in solid navy blue.

The Armani evening wear for spring-summer 1987 was introduced by a young ballerina dressed as a dragonfly with large transparent wings who danced down the runway to demonstrate the airy lightness of the collection.

The first outfits to come down the runway were in keeping with the feminine romantic daytime look - wide silk floral printed pants under simple silk tops or flowing circular skirts with a pettycoat motif in delicate lace.

Armani also wrapped his printed pants in a skirt of sheer navy gauze.

But then Armani cut his ties with romance and got down to business in a series of black see-through bustiers in ruffled lace and gauze. The look was completed by tauntingly chaste loose silk pants and daintily printed full skirts.

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