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Emporio Armani gets Aha back together to celebrate London show

That Mr Armani might be an octogenerian, but he sure knows how to throw a party.

Last night, the Armani eagle landed at Tobacco Dock in East London (literally – the iconic Emporio motif was emblazoned three feet high across the custom-built entrance) for his first major fashion event in the capital in over a decade.

To mark the reopening of his Bond Street store, the designer brought a slice of Milan to the English capital with a special Emporio Armani show at London Fashion Week, and a spectacular after-party that saw Morten Harket (every 80s teenage crush) and his band Aha take the stage to belt out classics like Take on Me. Poor Ellie Goulding, who also performed – she had quite the act to follow.

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Meanwhile, the clothes were some of the strongest he’s shown. Here are some highlights from the Armani extravaganza:

It was just like being in Milan

Apart from the fact that we were sitting dockside in Wapping, all the Armani show signatures were in place. Black everywhere (from the rows of padded seating to the carpeted floor), polished white runway, and models coming down the catwalk in pairs – a Mr A hallmark, all the better to squeeze more clothes, accessories and colourways into that lineup…

Candy colours are go

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Perfectly in tune with the emerging SS18 trend for bright and beautiful sherbet colours, Armani scrubbed his favourite muted palette of black, navy and white in favour of mouthwatering shades of pistachio, lilac and sorbet pink.

We got a bit crabby – in a good way

emporio armani lfw 2017

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Perhaps inspired by the dock location, and the dark waters of the Thames lapping nearby, a graphic rendering of a crab with coloured claws featured on several looks, like a slouchy white pocketed drawstring top and a delicious pink shift dress. Now that’s how to give the sports luxe trend some joie de vivre.

Checks? Check

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We’ve seen Burberry’s check make a triumphant return, and Armani showed off his exuberant side with an elegant take on the trend. Beautifully-cut trouser suits were given a lift in checkerboard prints in shades of mint, lilac and navy.  Office wear with a twist – the kind of pieces he’s built an empire on.

London Landmarks were given an Armani-over

This was a once-in-a-decade kind of celebration, and Armani wasn’t going to let the capital forget it. The London Eye, normally lit in red at night, was flooded with blue light – Emporio’s signature colour – to mark the occasion. And a fleet of Emporio-branded London taxis were waiting outside the entrance to whiz VIPs and show attendees home at the end of the night.

The front row was starry

Roberta Armani, Ellie Goulding, Liam Payne

Roberta Armani, Ellie Goulding, Liam Payne at the Armani show. / REX

Ellie Goulding, who performed a set at the after party, watched from the front row in a black and white checked trench, alongside Liam Payne (sadly no Cheryl), Poppy Delevingne, Paloma Faith and Dizzee Rascal). But for the assembled crowd – besuited Italian bigwigs from HQ, the cream of the fashion press, why, even influencers young enough to know ‘Take on Me’ only as sampled by Pitbull – the night belonged to Morten.

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