MILAN - Giorgio Armani gave his younger rivals a lesson in effortless cool today, showing shirts and suits so casually sexy actor George Clooney says they could help him cope with ageing.
Men wearing broad-shouldered pinstripe suits and dandy shoes strolled down the catwalk in small groups, hands in their pockets or arm-in-arm with chic girls in flowing silk trousers and jauntily tilted Parisian berets.
"It's beautiful. I've only been to one of his shows before, I haven't really been to menswear shows often," Clooney told Reuters after the show, in the middle of Milan fashion week.
"I usually can't wear clothes like that because they are made for men in their 20s, and you've got to understand that when you're ageing, suits become more important."
Leaning against a wall, a champagne glass in his hand and wearing a black suit, Clooney, 45, reflected the slightly rakish yet relaxed style that infused the entire show.
It was the only big-name fashion show this week that had the audience breaking out in spontaneous applause as men with sunglasses paraded loose trousers and tailored waistcoats, cardigans that followed the shape of the back without clinging, and urban suits that had grown-up sex appeal.
"Being sexy as a man is not about being muscular. It's the way he looks at you, the way he moves ... his way of dressing," Armani told reporters after the show.
It was a contrast to Dolce & Gabbana's gym heroes with six-packs who marched down the catwalk in boxer shorts and tight briefs on Monday, and Miuccia Prada's boys in shiny plastic shorts in primary colours.
Armani preferred loose Bermuda shorts and drawstring trousers as a holiday look, or pyjama-ish shirts with Nehru collars.