Giorgio Armani says 'men should dress like men regardless of sexual orientation' Reuters

Fashion icon Giorgio Armani has provoked fierce controversy by urging gay men not to dress camp.

Speaking to The Sunday Times Magazine on 19 April the 80-year-old Italian designer, who has dressed stars including Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian, insisted that regardless of their sexual orientation "a man has to be a man".

"A homosexual man is a man 100 per cent. He does not need to dress homosexual," he told the publication. "When homosexuality is exhibited to the extreme – to say: 'Ah, you know I'm homosexual,' – that has nothing to do with me. A man has to be a man."

Although he did not elaborate on his remarks, it didn't stop online uproar and backlash from fans, with some LGBT campaigners accusing him of reinforcing negative stereotypes about homosexual men.

Milan-born Armani also had some harsh words for women who resort to breast enlargements, as well as extra-muscular men, explaining that he preferred a "healthy" look.

"I don't like muscle boy. Not too much gym!" he said. "I like somebody healthy, somebody solid, who looks after his body but doesn't use his muscles too much.'"

He added: "I prefer to look at a natural woman. A woman should be courageous to become older, not be desperate to look younger than her age."

His comments come weeks after Elton John entered into a high-profile row with the Italian designer duo Dolce & Gabbana for rejecting the idea of same-sex parents and branding babies born through IVF "synthetic" and "sperm selected from a catalogue".

"We oppose gay adoptions. The only family is the traditional one. No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed," they said during and interview with magazine Panorama.

Dolce added: "You are born to a mother and a father – or at least that's how it should be. I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Uteri [for] rent, semen chosen from a catalogue."

John, who has two children with husband David Furnish, hit back by accusing the duo of self-hate and vowed to boycott the fashion house.

"Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana," he wrote on Twitter.