Yesterday Giorgio Armani presented his spring 2011 Emporio Armani men's collection in Milan. But watching the show, Guy Trebay writes in the Times, was almost like being at your best friend's overplanned destination wedding: Sometimes you have to look past the two different full-on wedding gowns she wore for the ceremony and reception, and the 200 guests forced to pay to fly to the Mexican Riviera and stay there for four nights and five days of wedding relay races and other assorted "fun," and remember that underneath the crinoline, she's still your friend. Elements of Armani's show yesterday — mostly relating to styling — felt alienating and bizarre, but the clothes themselves were classic-yet-modern Armani, which Trebay appreciated and admired.
But as for the show's "unfortunate imagery," Trebay explains:
Yes, you had to get past the “Springtime for Hitler” finale, a platoon of models stomping down the runway clad all in black leather and with the knee boots and peaked motorcycle caps that hardly anybody wears anymore except aging leather daddies and the architect Peter Marino. Oh, and the neo-Fascists who make their headquarters in Milan.
...Once you had mentally eliminated the slave chains, the chrome studs, the faux chain tattoos and the eyeliner on the buff and hairless mesomorphs Mr. Armani casts for his shows, it was easier to see that what the designer was up to: that is, rejiggering for a new generation of customers some core elements of a bike messenger’s uniform: shorts over leggings, vests worn unfastened, bags the size of sailor’s duffels and shoes that were like butched-up versions of a paddock boot.
The show ended with a video of Lady Gaga performing "Alejandro," which reminded Trebay of both Madonna and Leni Riefenstahl's Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will.