Armani, 1990

“This new fashion sensibility was expressed most compellingly by Giorgio Armani. In recent seasons, the Milanese inventor of the square-shouldered, wedge-shaped, much-imitated power suit, has reversed himself, showing fluid jackets of zoot-suit proportions. Their shoulders looked deflated. Their fabrics had a certifiably worn appearance. And they were modeled by men who slouched down the runway, heads down, hands in pockets, in a posture meant to signify sincerity. For as Armani himself has said, ‘One must have the courage to show oneself a little bit as one is.’

Armani’s about-face, and his models’ loose, shambling, even apologetic gait, signaled the advent of an era of sartorial understatement – one befitting the cautionary spirit of the coming decade. ‘Armani sensed that the collapse of greed is good ideology before other people did,’ says Marshall Blonsky, the author of ‘American Mythologies,’ a soon-to-be-published look at American culture and fashion. What we have been seeing, says Blonsky, is the ‘dismantling of Reaganist attitudes. And fashion participates in that deconstruction.”’

from SINCERELY YOURS by RUTH LA FERLA, NYT, 1990

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