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Armani lights up signature line with chartreuse; DSquared2 easy as a 1970s sit-com

MILAN (AP) — If Giorgio Armani showed the edgy, dark side of nighttime fun in his Emporio collection, he spared a ray of sunshine for his signature line.

Skinny pants very much defined the male silhouette for the spring/summer 2011 in four days of Milan shows that ended Tuesday, but Armani offered easily tailored trousers that a mature man can wear comfortably.

Dean and Dan Caten, the Canadian twins behind the DSquared2 label, were all about laid-back fun with a line that summoned memories of the 1970s.

ARMANI

Chartreuse. That glowing yellow-green essence gave a sunny contrast to Armani neutrals: classic slate blue and gray suits worn with finely knit jersey shirts, then set off with chartreuse shoes, belts, pocket scarves and even sunglass lenses.

"Chartreuse is a flash of sun, of energy," Armani said after the show of his Giorgio Armani collection. Mint and lime green accents and pieces also gave a dash of freshness to the collection.

The Giorgio Armani man is relaxed with his hands in his pockets and confident enough to wear heavily made-up smoky eyes — a sign of an edge that is perhaps more sophisticated than the leather-clad serious fun-seeking Emporio Armani guys grinding alongside Lady Gaga.

Armani's double-breasted suit was more than a nod to classic style, it was a display of masculinity.

"There is a sense of pectoral power without making you see," Armani said. That is to say: Male strength, without the bare chest.

The collection also had a technical accent with sportswear made out of ultralight Kevlar fabric. Lightweight shirts, sometimes textured to give a chunky feel, were worn under vests, or short waistcoats worn alone substitute for shirts under jackets.

Gingham, a theme in Dolce&Gabbana's second line D&G, also made an appearance in Armani in black-and-white checked pants that were paired with plaid jackets. Armani also offered pants in bold black-and-white geometric prints.

DSQUARED2

Dean and Dan Caten's brand of fun and sex appeal is nothing if not overt. The DSquared2 man is not afraid to bear his pecs, and to make the point a buff model worked out in the background for part of the show, doing sit-ups hanging upside down from a horizontal bar.

The collection was as easy as a 1970s sit-com: lots of jeans with classic yellow stitching, worn with a braided leather belt, and a button-down shirt, in, say, pink or white, left mostly unbuttoned to show off long fine gold chains. A shirt would really only be overkill under that fisherman's knit cardigan, left open, and paired with jean shorts. The leisure suit also jacket made an appearance.

For formal occasions, DSquared2 had a double-breasted jacket with gold buttons paired with jeans, matched with a blue shirt and tie. The collection did not shy away from strong colors, pairing a salmon pink jacket with Kelly green shorts and a blue shirt. The bathing suits, including briefs in green and white stripe, would not have been out of place on a YMCA swim team circuit 30 years ago.

Fashion week closes with a public fashion show in Piazza Duomo of designers' collections currently in stores. Armani opens the event, meant to involve the public in the shows and infuse the city with the same kind of energy that the annual Furniture Show brings every April when it spills out of the convention center into the city's streets and piazzas.