Lime illuminates gray at Armani in Milan

MILAN (AP) — Giorgio Armani's collection for next winter — a palate of grays with a flash of lime — is aimed "not at the fashion icon, but her next-door neighbor."

Yet, the designer said Monday, the focus on spectacles at fashion shows by many of his colleagues and the media distorts expectations. "When in September, a woman wants to see in the stores something she saw in the newspaper, and she doesn't find it, this is bad for everyone," Armani told reporters after his womenswear preview for next winter on the last day of Milan Fashion Week.

"It makes us look ridiculous and seem like those who want to stun at all costs," he said. Women who visit Armani shops this fall will find a new daytime trouser that is ankle-length and softened with pleats — similar in comfort to the pants he unveiled last week for his Emporio Armani line aimed at younger customers.

The looks are predominantly gray, a color he chose because different shades of gray "are pretty together" and lime, which he said "excites." Gray suits pair the new trouser with single-button jackets brightened with a lime flash on the lapel. Green stripes down the side of pants signaled a sportier look.

Armani is one of the few designers to elicit applause during his show and one piece that drew it here was a wispy gray fur that appeared lit by lime. It was worn over a slip-like sage dress and paired with a squared green clutch.

Evening dresses were strapless sheaths with lime stones or stripes of green and black ribbon that gave them a modernist edge. Handbags included lime-and-black clutches, top-handle doctor's bags and soft, roomy daytime bags in black with lime highlights. Shoes were feminine pumps with a skinny heel or lace-up booties.

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