Emporio Armani

Breton Boating Chic

It’s nice to know when most men have long retired, taken to wearing slippers, octogenarian Giorgio Armani is still out there on a fashionable high wire.

Sporty, smart and striped: Giorgio Armani charts the course with his opening look
Sporty, smart and striped: Giorgio Armani charts the course with his opening look

Armani sent out a pretty darned adventurous Emporio collection Monday morning, clothes destined for sailing, board walk boulevarding and pool hopping whose central spine was the nautical stripe. It could all have been very naff and hackneyed, instead admiral Armani and his design squadron presented a winning flotilla of modern seaside chic and snappy sport style.

Turn off your shirt, not the blazer, cause maritime stripes keep cool on a sunny sailing day
Take off your shirt, not the blazer

Giorgio sent out jerkins with navy and blue indented stripes, then nylon blazers in huge four-inch-wide stripes this time in charcoal and blue. He anchored his crew in white-soled dock-siders and deck top moccasins.

 Ready for boating with slippers, sunglasses and a subtle-patterned suit
Ready for boating with slippers, sunglasses and a subtle-patterned suit

For his finale, graphic board check blousons appeared as the soundtrack blasted out moody electronica. The style was geometric, but gutsy, parallel lines yet pushing the envelope. This is truly a season for yachtsmen in Milan – from the beachcomber deck hands at Bottega Veneta to the dandy pirates at Gucci to Prada, where the cast walked on a catwalk suspended over water. But no one delivered this with as much technical panache or snappy gusto as Capitano Emporio Armani. His tailoring got a little closer to the body, still with the classic Armani ease of wear and some cool accessories like a revers clip.

Cruise couture at its best, shimmery garments make sporty shorts ready for a skipper's soirée
Cruise couture at its best | All photos: courtesy of nowfashion.com

This was the Great Helmsman Giorgio – and, yes, we know that’s what they used to call Chairman Mao – steering his yacht in high winds, tacking through the Great South Sea, taking plenty of risks and bringing his craft home with style. Not bad going for a gentleman who will celebrate his 80th anniversary next month, and open his own museum next May.