Fashion Trend: Armani jacket is made for Los Angeles

Collage of Armani coats in different fabrics

(Illustrated by neonhoney / Los Angeles Times; photos by: Aldo Fallai, Peter Lindbergh, courtesy of Giorgio Armani)

When we talk about coats or coats, we don’t usually revolve around the word “liberation”. Traditional men’s suits are designed to be tight and fit. It may not fit the modern definition of “workwear” as a menswear category – your knee-length pants or your work jacket – but nevertheless, a vest Very suitable for people to wear to work.

Well, believe it or not, there was a time when people wore suits to work. Most of the first job interviews of my career required me to scroll through H&M praying I could find a pair of trousers that wouldn’t make me look like a sack full of Christmas presents. . The traditional event can feel like an assault on the body, unless you’re one of the lucky few who can afford to tailor your own. You’re considering and needing to stick to what the world considers the best fit for a suit at the time.

When I first moved to LA from San Francisco, in 2007, the clothes were razor thin and deliberately ill-fitting. The crisp, clean J. Crew Ludlow suit is the pinnacle of affordable masculinity. Scott Sternberg’s The Outsiders have created a movie that’s tight, short, and makes one look like a pre-school kid. “Rushmore” -core, if you will. I’m too tall, too wide, and too underpowered for those things. But I soon discovered that I really didn’t need a suit in LA. For many Angelenos, a suit is a luxury item – something to wear at weddings, funerals, gatherings religion and strange court appearance.

A fully transactional normie suit sets you up as a lawyer, a financier, or one of the mortuaries from the HBO show “Six Feet Under.” It’s not that the job isn’t done here. It’s the job that doesn’t require the highest lapels. Even agents don’t really wear suits anymore, as COVID-19 has shifted a lot of Hollywood work to Zoom. This is not to say that Los Angeles is a tailor-made desert. It is the people who live here who think of the clothes with another ideal in mind: unstructured, loose, progressive. Angelenos value things like outdoor lunches, convertibles, and “when I say 8 o’clock, I mean 9,” so our clothes must reflect the free spirit of the West in accordance with our point of view. That’s why the Armani suit is the unofficial Los Angeles suit.

It may be the similarity between the Mediterranean climates of Italy and Los Angeles that helps fuel this unique connection. It’s not that Armani, a quintessentially Italian brand, isn’t popular in places like New York or Chicago; It’s simple feel right here. Armani took over the cultural consciousness in 1980, thanks to the influence of Richard Gere’s hit film “American Gigolo”. The muted colors, flowing ruffles, and pleasant coolness of the clothing captured the imagination of a culture poised to continue to evolve from the wild aspects of the decade’s disco and punk aesthetic. 70. It is the gateway drug of choice for the yuppie generation. The fox event is more natural in nature and hangs over the body in a way that’s not as tight as your typical American Brooks Brothers cut. The Armani jacket is a principle that adheres to the brand’s philosophy: wearing one is like applying a second layer of skin.

Black and white photograph of Richard Gere wearing a Giorgio Armani blazer from the 1980 film

(Courtesy of Giorgio Armani)

Armani’s extravagant tailoring appeals to men’s fashionistas who research opinions on vents, darts, and belts. But what makes Armani so iconic to the average consumer is its connection to Hollywood. Armani – the brand and Giorgio Armani, the man – have spent years cultivating celebrity relationships. (The reopening of the Beverly Hills Armani store in March speaks for itself; it’s as good an excuse as any to celebrate Nicole Kidman before the Oscars. The store is clean, modern. and luxurious in the way Armani has always been, but it was also designed to be a magnet for the rich and famous.)

Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, the most common silhouette seen at movie premieres in LA was a vest or blazer, usually Armani, casually paired with jeans and buttons. That versatility showcases the men’s red carpet style of the time: more concerned with comfort than the bold choices we see in celebrity style today. Unstructured, ruched vests can convey sophistication without being constrained by a traditional suit. We see Armani’s influence all over LA, but never more profoundly than Jerry Lorenzo’s adaptation of Fear of God. Southern California flair is an intrinsic part of the brand, not just in its lavishly designed jackets, but in its loose, comfortable suits in elegant neutrals similar to the what Armani gave the world in the 20th century.

To Armani’s credit, the brand has maintained its stance over the decades. The hobby was reeling from 2000s fit-out suits, but rather than dismiss its legacy and try to play catch-up, Armani continued to refine its flawless formula well into the early 21st century. Today, vintage Armani has become one of the most popular categories in the rapidly expanding resale market based on customers trying to flip their gently used mugs. Armani has benefited from nostalgia, but also a pandemic-era concern for generous silhouettes that don’t require the wearer to hold their breath to match them.

The latest in an evolution of Armani’s iconic jacket is the Upton, a two-piece, borderless top with a striking top design that looks a bit like herringbone when viewed from a distance. The raised lapels on the jacket and shoulders hug the natural shape of your body. In many ways, it’s a classic Armani product – sophistication in its most refined form.

It would be a stretch to say that Los Angeles is underrated in any way. This is a big city, a city of diversity, and a city that is much more unpretentious than its reputation. The working class with no need for tailoring will not feel free when they see a piece of clothing. In a word, a suit can represent oppression, the indifference of the privileged, or an unattainable standard. So how does a $2,400 coat represent the whole of LA? Sadly, it can’t. Nothing can represent this whole complex place. Fashion designers may tell you they “capture the spirit of LA,” but that’s a myth. Maybe you can bottle part of it, but never the whole thing. It simply won’t fit in the bottle.

A black and white photo of a man wearing a patterned jacket on a window frame

Giorgio Armani Spring / Summer 1997

(Peter Lindbergh)

Armani vibrates with LA because it’s not trying to “be LA.” It’s not wandering. It’s hard to get to, just like the city itself. People come here and get lost in the chaos, the never-ending concrete roads, the loneliness. Maybe they left for good. Or maybe they stick with it and find their own version of heaven. It’s expensive. It’s not for everyone. It’s for those who get it. Just like Armani.

But the brand is not resting on its laurels. What’s unique about the Upton is that it avoids the length that has become so common with classics from the 80’s and 90’s. As a tall man, shall we say, the rear end. “significantly”, I appreciate the longer cuts of classic coats. Upton also removed the flapless bags that had been Armani’s staple for decades. Lidless bags have become a popular place for men and women to put their hands in to add sophistication to their outfits. I instinctively want to get my hands on these bags the way I do with all my vintage pieces, but the bags are simply not designed for such things.

A black and white photograph of a man in a suit with his hands in his pockets.

Giorgio Armani Spring / Summer 1989

(Aldo Fallai)

One might decry Armani for doing things that aren’t appropriate for the youth market exploring their archives on TikTok for the first time, but the brand is confident enough to play around and try new things. Old stuff will always be there, on sites like Grailed or eBay, or in your parents’ closet. Despite some variation in the formula, Upton is a translation of Armani’s core aesthetic principle: that clothing should not be made for dress codes, boardrooms or corporate retreats. ty, but how people actually live. It’s the unofficial coat of arms of Los Angeles as it is a city that puts life above all else. Fashion Trend: Armani jacket is made for Los Angeles

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