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Behind The Scenes

Armani Neutralizes Beyond the Pale

March 18, 1994|ROSE APODACA

If anything got through to the audience of 250 at last week's spring/summer presentation at the Emporio Armani store in South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, it was this: Get a tan.

One bronzed model after another walked by in clothes from the men's and women's collections that were quintessentially Mediterranean--airy, neutral and simple. The basic palette of ecru, wheat, white and black, with only a strike of color here and there of brick red, served to deepen the models' sun-bathed skin.

Generous cuts of linen, linen silk and rayon blends, sheer organzas, georgettes and chiffons have been shaped into some of the most comfortably fluid silhouettes. For her, sheers are layered softly; while his pieces, too, are layered, and the juxtaposition of linen with light cotton knits works handsomely.

Armani's hottest shape fits slimmer at the top, flares at the bottom and was presented as a suit jacket in both the men's and women's lines and as a sheer tunic that could serve as a top or dress in the women's. Another oft-seen jacket feature was little or no lapels.

Tan skin aside, the most marvelous items in the show were the accessories--silk batik scarves around his neck and large circular pendants in bone, tortoise or wood around hers; the crochet shawl in natural and black, and, on everyone's feet, strappy sandals of leather or jute.

Hosted in part by Elle, the 30-minute parade presented the magazine's choices as "Elle Essentials."

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