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George Clooney attends Armani’s show

Designer’s collection featured structured jackets, loose trousers
/ Source: The Associated Press

It’s hard to get any better than Giorgio, especially if the maestro outdoes himself as he did in his latest menswear collection.

Seated in the front row was the designer’s friend George Clooney, in town from his villa on nearby Lake Como.

Armani’s ideas for next summer more or less summed up the beach and business look that has marked this week’s preview showings for spring-summer 2007.

“This is the way I would like to dress, if I were taller, younger, and had more time,” the 71-year-old designer said of his collection after the show.

Armani’s jackets were structured, but fashioned in ultra soft fabric, while trousers remained comfortably loose despite a formal crease. A funky waistcoat sewn into the jacket lent youth to the suit.

Armani preferred a trendy Nehru style blouse to the traditional stiff-collared white shirt, kept his jeans tight and paired his outfits with pristine white running shoes. Colors ranged from sandy beige and sea blue, to city gray.

Although there were only a few pairs, Armani did include Bermuda shorts — an absolute must for warmer weather — in his show.

The designer presented his collection on the last day of the five-day preview showings. Also showing was Fendi — with cropped jackets and pencil trousers — and Moschino, where much of the show was about striped seersucker suits and shorts.

In general, Italian designers seemed to agree that next summer should be devoted to relaxation, whether lying on the beach or hunched over an office desk. Jeanswear has been replaced by a mix of sporty and classic clothes that would be at home at the country club.

The summer silhouette can be divided into two types: skinny and delicate (Prada and Burberry), or healthy and hardy (Dolce & Gabbana and Emporio Armani).

In either case, the summer man likes his comfort. Just watch the way he casually rolls up the sleeves of his soft jacket.

The favorite colors are quiet and cool shades of beige, blue and sea green, with dashes of bright purple, red, green and yellow. The latter often come in shiny plasticized fabric for sports jackets, overcoats and floppy hats, the only question mark in a very reassuring round of collections.

Although some models had shaven heads or extra long hair, most of the hairstyles were short and neat.

The barbershop novelty came in the return of the mustache like those favored by such stars of yesteryear as Clark Gable and Marcello Mastroianni. Mr. Clooney take note.