Never have I seen a European city more loved by Japan than Milan. The Japanese don't just visit this city, they live here. Seeing it as just as otherworldly as the West often sees Tokyo, the chicest of its people are enchanted. This season, we saw that for Giorgio Armani it works both ways. An Italian great, Giorgio's design process is often inspired by Asia - and S/S 18 saw his eye specifically focus on Japan.
Besides his inky blue navy, synonymous with the house, this inspiration provided a gateway into print and pattern - and a masculine take on global femininity, which really worked. Kimono style cropped jackets in gold and black or red were worn with black leather bands around the hair, and were given a slight psychedelic spin thanks to some very cool caramel-orange lensed shades. Mary Jane shoes were also a key component of the collection, and looked super whimsical/mannish. Demi skirts on tailoring were a hybrid between Armani's longtime love of the sarong - and a new louche take on the tailcoat. Silver scratches across dark blue jackets were like a calligraphy pen had etched abstract bamboo leaf renderings onto silk. A red sporty section saw samurai references meld with the terrains of outdoor activewear. All of it an expertly blended melange of modernity and romance, silver plaid trousers - worn cropped and loose - were teamed with dragon-esque swirls meandering across jackets.