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How did Giorgio Armani change menswear?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by VRaivio, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    So I went through all the SF threads on GA that have most replies. While I found plenty of info on Armani's different lines, construction, materials and whathaveyou, I couldn't find basic info about Armani's impact. I'm too young to have witnessed any change he might have brought forth and far too menswear-obsessed to go lurking on fashion sites.

    What's the deal with Armani?
     
  2. Patek

    Patek Senior member

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    He is partially responsible for the 80's:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    He made Gere's suit in American Gigolo. Everybody who wanted to be a man whore started buying his suits. Last I heard he designs for Lady Gaga.

    I am not a fan.
     
  4. Jamesgatz

    Jamesgatz Senior member

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    He deconstructed men's suits and jackets (there is a chapter on Armani in Flusser's Style and the Man, in the shopping section). He brought pastel colors, relaxed jackets, and related cool back to men's style. Imagine Crockett and Tubbs wearing Huntsman...
     
  5. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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    Wasn't it the other way around? That Armani was Mr. Monochrome and Versace was the guy with the color wheel?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  6. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    yeah, as i recall (wasn't that much into menswear at the time, but was alive anyway), his look was much sleeker and more earth-toney and with fabrics that were more textural than a lot of what was going on at the time. ventless jackets, slash pockets, all the things that are poison on SF, seemed pretty cool back then.
     
  7. MyOtherLife

    MyOtherLife Senior member

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    +1
    This.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  8. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Yes.
     
  9. Chase H

    Chase H Senior member

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    I am also not a fan. The biggest gripe I have with Armani is not that it's bad, per se*, but rather that it's not great, and yet it seems to be the first thought of the uninitiated as the be-all end-all of fine clothing.

    *I have seen some horrible things that bear the name Armani. For a literal example, I once saw a striped tie whose stripes were actually the word "Armani" over and over again. I found it repulsive.
     
  10. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    To be fair lots of brands make some things that are butt ugly at one point or another - if you have a brand 20 years old and you don't have a few misses, you're not taking any risks. I've seen Brioni polyester sportcoats from the 70's that would make your eyes bleed (I can't find pics unfortunately - it was an ebay auction, and it was hilarious.)

    One thing to note with Armani - 90% of people who think of Armani thing of Armani Collezioni which is their diffusion label - watered down to be cheaper and accounts for 90% of the Armani clothes you will see out there. Collezioni makes lots of stuff with synthetics which can often be hideous, but even they have a few pieces which are very impressive every now and again. The "real deal" is Giorgio Armani black label which is very nice indeed - on part with E. Zegna. If I could afford to, I'd happily pick up a few black label suits.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  11. sullivan025

    sullivan025 Senior member

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    Armani introduced the power suits back in the 80s and broad padded shoulders. But everything's bigger and bolder back then probably the reason why designers like him thrived during that time.
     
  12. VRaivio

    VRaivio Senior member

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    The 80's seem to be a mistake, style-wise more than anything. I'll have a look at American Gigolo and see what the fuss was about.
     
  13. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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    X-post:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Pawz

    Pawz Senior member

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    I value SF's opinions, but my first love (clothingwise) was Armani, and I will not forsake it.
     
  15. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Armani introduced a new silhouette that resonated with men at the time and stimulated the wearing of suits again. The 60's "cigarette" silhouette evolved in the 70's in a robust way with concave/pagoda shoulders but still fitted very, very close to the body, Trousers were plain front but flared or bell bottom. Mix in the arrival of polyester and leisure suits in the 70's and then the proliferation of wearing jeans or t shirts with jackets. Men were focusing on being fit and the suits at the time didn't favor an athletic build.

    Armani made jackets with extended shoulders, low buttoning point, low, sloping gorge, and brought full cut, pleated trousers back and men ate it up. You heard repeatedly that suits were finally comfortable and had some style. Armani also used what I refer to as "ladies fabrics". He moved away from worsteds and used boucle and crepes. Very soft drapey cloths that salesmen would say, "it will mold to your body and shape." The soft drape was forgiving of fitting inadequacies in a way that worsteds would not. Jackets felt soft and not as rigid.

    If you are a lot younger than i am you saw the same thing happen when Thom Browne introduced the slim, short silhouette. Same story with a different approach for a different time.

    Welcome to the style cycle.
     
    6 people like this.
  16. Viral

    Viral Senior member

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    Armani made Pat Reilly look great............
     
  17. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    You do realize that Armani Collezoni is his collaboration with Zegna right? meaning that the newer Collezoni stuff is Zegna made or at least recently was because this stuff changes very often. But i think you mean 90% is AX, or mani, or whatever else but Collezoni is def not the one that is watering down the brand
     
  18. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    thanks for that informed point of view Jeffrey. the textures of the fabrics were interesting (not tweed, not worsted) and so was drapiness. the suits felt really good even if they didn't necessarily fit so well.
    as far as brand dilution, i think mani was definitely an example, but so is collezioni. i've got some older stuff tagged just giorgio armani from the pre-collezioni days (also from before I finally came to my senses and realized that's not the cut for me), and it's really well made.
    i think also that because armani is the guy who got american men interested in wearing suits again, his brand was probably elevated beyond reality ... and when that happens, there's the inevitable "emperor has no clothes" reaction. he's neither as good as he was touted to be nor as bad as current SF wisdom would have it.
     
  19. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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    Definitely. I would wear most of those old suits in a heartbeat, and I can see that style coming back in fashion in a decade or so, possibly sooner.
     
  20. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    Yeah you are right that both are both watering down the brand but Collezoni is still not affordable for many people in that their suits are still high 1k-2.5k while mani/ax/whatever else sell their stuff for like 200 bucks. Take note that black label (the non Fatto A mano) and collezoni are not that far off from each other when it comes to price. if i remember correctly last time i checked at bergdorfs and barneys the starting for the regular black label was about 2.5k while collezoni was in the high 1k's, 1.7k if i remember correctly.
     

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