The pantsuit—recast with a drapey new glamour—is staging a subtle comeback at Paris couture, and if anyone's looking for a made-to-measure version, Giorgio Armani is the man with a lifetime's authority on the subject. His show, cast in monochrome with glinting highlights of silver, focused on jackets with rounded pagoda shoulders over softly pleated pants with an easy elegance about them. From the opening looks—steel gray tailoring with large diamanté buttons—he was on home ground.
Armani said he'd been influenced by black-and-white movie heroines and set the show to forties movie soundtracks, but the feel wasn't overtly retro. His best looks—wispy black lace T-shirts fashioned in a grid pattern and slipped under suits in black velvet or paillettes, along with the odd sportswear touch like an ivory hoodie and a lace polo shirt—brought a sense of the casual into the mix. The rest of the collection covered the classic mainstays of the Armani couture business: skirtsuits; jet-beaded cocktail pieces; and long, slim evening dresses.
But the finale was an adventurous step away from the predictable: four silver and nude mesh crystal-embellished jumpsuits—another statement about the fashion relevance of wearing pants.