Spring runways are all about helping future shoppers break out of their winter doldrums and embrace lightness and color again. The Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2020 collection that debuted yesterday in Milan was filled with ethereal qualities that do just that, seen on models who seemingly glided down the tree-lined runway at the brand’s headquarters at Via Borgonuovo 11. However, despite the pieces’ lightness and whimsy, it was earth, and not something beyond it, that served as the designer’s inspiration this season. And the collection’s name, as well.
Instead of the colors that might initially come to mind for this "Earth" theme — an array of browns, beiges, greens, and yellows, that is — Armani’s line featured a palette of pastels in pink, blue, and gray. It was a softer interpretation of the theme in floaty fabrics and silhouettes that may remind the spectator of nature by way of multihued skylines, calm waters, and, in more literal ways, lush leaves that were also seen in prints across the collection's range of designs. It's an embrace of the romantic airiness that comes with finally being able to break out a dress again, to finally be able to trade heavy-duty boots for something more carefree.
One of the biggest take aways from the runway show was the collection's ability to remain grounded. While Armani is a name that instantly brings to mind luxe evening wear and impeccably polished suiting, many of the looks seen on the runway created a nuanced balance of both. Airy and sheer floor-length skirts were paired with modern, oversized belt buckles and cropped jackets that had a more modern edge. Ruffled, one-shoulder dresses in a print that resembled monstera leaves were worn with color-coordinated oxfords. Furthermore, the brand made sure to offer the Armani answer to athleisure: silky, zipper-embellished trousers and a sporty zip-up jacket in a watercolor palette. Consider it a look made for glamorous and comfortable travel.
Armani is long lauded for its crisply designed suiting, and the collection offered plenty of tailored pants ensembles, as well — ones that seemed perfect for the elegant-yet-practical dresser. There were sheer trousers layered with tunics and dresses. Meanwhile, relaxed and cropped pants with easy pleat detailing were worn with blazers, both boxy and longline. To complete each of these ensembles, sensible shoes also appeared on the models' feet. The choice of boots and flats over, say, a satin heeled sandal, also suggested a down-to-earth approach to styling that resonated throughout the runway.
Finally, the last several looks of the collection represented some of Armani’s most iconic work: his penchant for evening gowns. The pastel palette made the pieces feels especially classic and romantic for spring, while the designer's use of intricate beading, lace, and super voluminous ruffles added the perfect amount of drama and glamour. Armani's vision for next season's collection may clearly be earth-inspired and offer a comfortable way to walk about it, but the feeling of wearing a piece envisioned by Mr. Armani itself will always be otherworldly.