The lining-less blazer started Armani on the road to fashion fame in the mid-1970s, and ever since, an Armani suit has been a VIP staple.
The new jacket, part of the warm weather signature collection presented Tuesday, the last day of the current round of menswear preview showings, is less formal than in past seasons, slim-fitting and with a sloped shoulder. It can have a small lapel or no lapel at all, replaced by a bellboy collar, and the number of buttons varies.
Techno materials and an unconventional palette help contemporize the look. Rather than light wool or linen, Armani fashions his new jacket in stretch jersey or pixilated leather. He dares to stray from conventional blues and greys (although they both appear in the new collection) to offer light pastels, whites, and even a flesh-colored pink.
In an informal chat with reporters after the show in his modern Milan headquarters, Armani said his latest jacket represented a new concept of classic, which is "less rigid and more tender." The shoulders, he added, "don't attack."
The jackets are worn mainly with tapered, almost tight pants. Footwear comes in a classic spectator lace-up or an old-fashioned sneaker.