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Global crisis? Not on his Milan runway, says Armani

The world is a bit of a mess at the moment -- facing a string of natural disasters and potentially some manmade ones -- but Giorgio Armani figures his clothes don't have to be that way.

The Spring/Summer 2018 collection he sent down the runway Friday at Milan Fashion Week was bright and modern, full of vivid prints and crisp cuts. What was absent was outrage over US President Donald Trump, fears that North Korea's cold war might get hot or the devastation left by a string of earthquakes and monster hurricanes.

"It's not because it's a sad moment that I have to make women sad on the runway," the veteran designer told reporters after his show at Teatro Armani. Art with a "capital A", impressionist paintings -- but not one in particular -- drove him to create a collection of flowery prints, bright silky pinks and lots of sequins.

There were plenty of small jackets, short dresses with sloping hemlines and luminous pleated skirts. The models also showed off vertiginous, see-through high heels. Gauzy jacket and trouser suits embellished with bright designs as well as silky green or silver skirts were major themes. They were all part of what the designer's notes called the "sophisticated, linear elegance of the Armani language."

As ever, the show concluded with the designer emerging briefly from backstage in his trademark work clothes of long-sleeved top and high-tech sweatpants to acknowledge the audience's applause. With his deep tan, scrupulously tended head of white hair and a silhouette honed by daily workouts, Armani could easily pass for a much younger man. The show comes just two months after the Armani group announced it would reorganise its brands, concentrating on three core labels and trimming its network of boutiques.

The change-up was announced in July when Armani confirmed its sales had fallen five percent in the previous year. Big brands like Prada have struggled to find their mojo after revenues across the luxury world were hurt by a slowdown in Asia and currency volatility.

Armani is the sole owner of a group he founded in 1975 and, with no children of his own, does not have a natural heir, although a nephew and two nieces are involved in the company. Later on Friday, the army of bloggers, buyers and fashion hounds in Milan will aim their smartphones at the new collections by Versace and Roberto Cavalli, whose new creative lead, British designer Paul Surridge, is making his maiden voyage. (AFP)

Global crisis? Not on his Milan runway, says Armani The international Fashion Week season for women's ready-to-wear kicks off in the month of September, with all eyes set on New York, Paris, London and Milan for next seasons latest trends. For all the women's wear catwalk season must reads, click here.