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PARIS Spring 2004

September 30, 2003-Armani's forecast for the spring: clear azure skies, lots of warm Mediterranean sun and smooth sailing.

The new Giorgio Armani collection is rich with exquisitely tailored garments designed exclusively for those seeking fluid, uncomplicated clothes with a sexy edge. This season, Mr. Armani has deliberately steered clear of elaborate white silk strapless dresses decorated with all-over sequin embroidery, and black silk-chiffon ankle length gowns adorned with crystal beads (just right for the red carpet clientele.) The new Giorgio spring look is anchored to the concept of a breezy vacation in a coastal paradise such as Capri, Corsica or Sardegna. So grab a suitcase and throw in a double-breasted white jacket with wide shoulders, a pair of black and white vertical striped loose fitted pants and a bikini and you're all set to go.

"Drastically imposing a fashion-whatever it may be-would mean having no respect for the consumer…The goal I seek is to have people define their style through my clothing without having them become victims of fashion" Armani once proclaimed. In line with that mentality Giorgio once again has stayed true to its creator's tradition of unstructured ease and elegant comfort. All of the models that strutted down the catwalk-against the backdrop of larger-than-life projections of themselves-showcased poised, casually chic clothes oozing with sex appeal. My personal favorites from his new show were the dangerously form fitted and coyly midriff bearing tuxedo jackets, wide legged flowing silky pants and leggy little dresses with black and white swirls.

Even though Armani has toned down the sexy-vixen periphery of his creations by eliminating superfluous and ostentatious elements and incorporating unisex themes into his work, this spring the women wearing Giorgio will want to yell "Hi sailor!!" to every handsome man that walks by.

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