There's something elemental about Giorgio Armani's work. If Spring made you think of velvety midnights over the Sahara, Fall made the transition from darkness to the rosiness of dawn. But the color of a new day also made Armani think pink in another way. He called his collection Boudoir, after all. There was a lingerie slink to the satin dresses and pants that opened the show, and a group of embroidered, crystallized, and paillette-ed pink evening dresses that helped close it looked as fragile as the finest lace teddy. So did an organza coat delicately tied to one side. Still, Armani played his palette of powder and blush against black and metallic tones, so his boudoir had shadows. And indomitable septuagenarian Tina Turner was front-row center to remind the world of the sort of woman that Armani has always dressed. That's one of the reasons why his shows continue to reward contemplation. There's always a personal quirk—or at least a design challenge—in there somewhere. And after the show, Armani insisted that, even after all these years, the challenge is as difficult as ever.
This time, he threw the focus onto trousers—slightly flared, cropped, cuffed, and shown with his classic jackets, either the one close to the body and elongated over the hips, or the one nipped and flaring into a peplum. The silhouette adjustment was an idea Armani pursued in his Emporio show the other day, but here it was clear that it's actually movement he's interested in. Those trousers had a perky little swing that was slightly different from his usual sinuous languor. And it was maybe in the same spirit that Armani also focused on a long ballooning skirt shape that undulated balletically. Shown with a crocheted jacket and kitten heels, the length and volume of the skirt evoked a Visconti moment.
There was more movement in a mink top with a jabot of tails that swung in front, or a shrug of shells that wrapped the shoulders of a shift in coffee-colored satin, or the huge fringed shawl that draped Sigrid Agren at show's end. And any woman who felt left out when Armani chose to splash his visage across a sarong during his men's show in January will be relieved to know that there is more than enough Giorgio to go around: The same image appeared on a velvet tunic in this collection. Another symptom of an elemental spirit.