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Fashion Is Not Only for the Young and Skinny

  • September 24, 2021

Or Emporio Armani, celebrating its 40th birthday, which — despite being known as the “younger” line of Armani — offered up a quasi-retrospective of signature loose liquid tailoring for both men and women, flippy little silk dresses, paillette-strewn evening wear and desert shades that segued into sporty primary colors. (The jade and lilac lamé bloomer rompers that slid off one shoulder, on the other hand, looked like they were trying a little too hard for the young and fun appellation.) It was a telling coincidence that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, likewise age 40, chose an Emporio black coat for her visit to the Sept. 11 memorial in New York on the same day as the show.

Or even Tod’s, where the designer Walter Chiapponi has added a dollop of sophistication to the brand’s offering. The Jolie Madame neat linen car and trench coats, evening anoraks in jewel-tone sheer nylon and graphic knits would look as good over a pair of slick trousers as the asparagus stalk bare legs with which they were paired on the runway.

Mr. Chiapponi has already nudged the brand beyond its dependence on leather — this season largely reduced to detailing on the elbows and patch pockets of the coats, the neckline of the knits (and some very appealing accessories, especially the padded bucket hats). In part, he said in a preview the day before the show, out of recognition that despite the brand’s roots as a leather house, it had a responsibility to the environment and climate change, and a change of materials was one way to address that.

The result was a move forward. Now it’s also time for another.

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