By David Stuchbury
How to wear Emporio Armani Dresses
Armani is one name that is instantly recognizable amongst those who know virtually nothing about fashion. It’s founder, Gorgio, has created an empire that – since its inception in 1975 – has become a byword for classic Italian styling. Gracefully flowing lines, impeccable fit, lots of volume applied to those strong greys, blues and pastel shades.
From the undeniably svelte couture Prive collection, through the runway-centric Georgio and the more accessible Emporio lines, to the youth-focuses Jeans and Exchange premium brands, Armani has an interest in virtually all sectors of the market, without ever becoming the populist’s choice. And if that’s not enough, Armani has also diversified in to sports, hotels and music.
The key to understanding and mastering an Armani look across the fashion ranges and price points is to take inspiration from and find commonalities between those various lines. A deep blue blazer from the Spring 2021 Prive collection is possibly not a practical and financial reality for most, but the look (smart jacket over luxuriant dress) can be emulated by selecting from other collections.
Building from the base up is – in essence – what Armani is all about: construction and architecture; a modern silhouette that is favoured for serious business as well as by the seriously glamorous.
There is, so to speak, nothing frivolous about an Armani collection. Gal Gadot or Amal Clooney exemplify, respectively, the glamourous and business side of Armani for women. Both are beautiful with a purpose that ascends their beauty – they seek to be role models; successful entrepreneurs and influencers in their respective, public fields. Not taking rebellious, left field risks; neither afraid to look stunning because the world is watching. All the time.
Stylistically, Armani marks a (thankfully) blurred line between various collections; ideal for those aspiring to the classic look. Emporio Armani is a great place to start from both a design and price perspective owing to a continuation of the formality evident in the luxury and couture lines, with a degree of freedom of design that allows for greater utility and choice in terms of accessorizing
Here’s a play on some of the classic Armani elements: dark blue with white/silver patterning; a conservative V-neck cut and sensual above-the-knee length reigned in via front pleats. The crimped belt effect splits this piece nicely in two, so you almost have a vest/tank top and mini skirt combo (a tank top version of this pattern is available). As a whole, a younger feel prevails; creating a lively spin on Armani elements that are frequently (even in spring summer) tonally muted or dressed with a linen jacket or scarf (which you are free to do, of course).
One of the beauties of Emporio Armani is the overtly conscious simplicity: even outfits that are highly complicated in form have the appearance of being very simply constructed and coloured. Only a closer look brings subdued elements to the fore. Okay, so this dress is a little more vivacious anyway (and that again may suit) but add blue shoes and bag and the classic Armani simplicity is yours.
The quintessential Armani piece; the ribbed waist effect is really the only hint at the kind of flourishes evident – say – in the Spring/Summer 2019 runway collection. The rounded sleeves (in this piece shortened) are a classic Armani feature. Yes, there’s length and volume, but the sloping shoulder feature (here also emphasized in the rounded neckline) create an easy but not overt informality.
There’s also a subtle ‘inverse bouquet’ effect in the dress construction: slim and neutral bust line to the top of the dress; flaring with volume at the base so that – despite an overall firmness – it draws attention to the whole figure rather than individual elements.
So how do you wear it. Undoubtedly heels; try a slim black or gold belt and a blue blazer; bag or clutch to match skin, hair or belt tones. Business casual perfection. Keep it simple.
The effect is modified slightly in the longer dress in the same deep blue/shades of grey tone. This time crimping is high and central above the waist (see the Giorgio Armani Fall 2021 Collection for more of the same) to form a bouquet below the frame of the face that is virtually asking for a flourish of crystal jewels. The single front pleat accentuates the stride and female form to make this a surprisingly statement-making number when matched with black heels. Belt and blazer again break up the look.
Much to be admired here. What is ultimately a summery lifestyle item being almost deceptively sensible. Those cropped shoulders nod to Louis Vuitton’s more recent twists on ‘doll-like’ fragility, while the combination of vertical (main pattern) and horizontal (waist and sleeves) stripes create a sporty feel in keeping with the third quarter of current EA collections; jiving with current athleisure trends: lighter colours, hardier materials and layers to create a dynamic interplay between situs. Heels and light-toned blazer for about town, pumps, shades and a chunky sports watch get you to the gym on time.
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