MFW: Armani S/S 2017

Armani S/S 17
Armani Spring/Summer 2017. Photo credit: Yannis Vlamos

What in the world is a “Charmani?” The word was emblazoned across the front of the catwalk at the Armani runway presentation this morning. It’s the title of the spring/summer collection. But what, exactly, does the word mean? Fortunately, the designer defines Charmani for us.

A neologism that captures the essence of a style that has its adherence rooted in continuous evolution. Charm, in the sense of elegance and sensuality, but also of magic and femininity. Charmani, in its sophisticated natural spirit. Charmani, the lightness of the body, seductively revealing itself, finding a new balance between disciplines and freedom.

He might have also mentioned the color blue. Lots and lots of blue. And bubbles. And—I’m still not sure exactly what to call those large circular not-a-hat things on the back of some heads early on.   Fortunately, he didn’t continue that habit too terribly long.

What Armani does continue is an emphasis on legs throughout the collection. Much of the time, hems run well above the knee. He has a fondness for sequel shorts in this collection, creating them in soft jersey material so they look a bit more casual, while keeping a sense of elegance in the rest of the look. In fact, if one wasn’t told that jersey material was in use one probably wouldn’t guess until actually touching the fabric. Even with trousers, he works with light, moderately opaque materials so that the form and lines of the leg remain visible.

Fabrics are a big thing in this collection. Sure, there are the usual volumes of chiffon and jacquard (in a jumpsuit, even!) but Armani also introduces a future-looking techno fabric that holds prints well and gives a little bit of sparkle without adding a lot of weight. He uses this fabric often throughout the collection, especially in jackets and second-layer covering.

Armani’s choice of prints is interesting in that he manages to infuse a sense of nature while never leaving the blue hue. When he begins adding things such as  fishnet scarves and beaded bubbles,  there is an almost 3D feel as the garments walk down the runway. They give the looks a different kind of elegance from the more intricate beadwork that follows.

While this is, as usual, a large collection coming in at 60 looks, the cohesiveness of the whole collection is impressive. The designer defines his Charmani well through all the different pieces, creating a sense of Charm and light-heartedness. The darker tones of blue might seem a bit odd for a spring/summer collection, but Armani finds ways to keep the collection lively. While I’m not sure the word Charmani will enter the general lexicon of words most frequently used, for the moment is is a word that defines this look. Who doesn’t want to be Charmani?

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