When Giorgio Armani began his Emporio Armani show two seasons ago with an ad for his fragrance, Diamonds, starring Beyoncé, the commercial interruption was diverting enoughafter all, it was Beyoncé. The ad for the designer's branded Samsung phone that was screened before today's Emporio presentation? Less so. As for the bare-chested boys sporting enormous, (we're assuming) fake GA logo tattoos at the end of the show, they, too, were a distraction from a collection that had many strong points.
This is a season of easy, slouchy pantsa trend that Armani happens to have been perfecting for years. The leopard-print shorts worn over a trouser suit were a step too far, but there was nothing tricky about the washed-silk numbers that tapered elegantly to the ankle or ballooned above a deep cuff. Shorts with crossover waistbands also looked of the moment. In the jacket department, a cool, oversize tuxedo embroidered all over in crystals and a graceful ivory topper with a sculptural bow at the waist both stood out. The show's East-meets-West theme produced other jackets with mandarin collars, some of which were draped in multiple strands of beads and pearls. And vests turned up for both day and after dark, alternately topping long full skirts or narrow ones slit up the back. Things took a sweet turn when barefoot models strolled out in baby blue, pink, and yellow sequined gowns. Halter tops and ankle-scraping skirts in the same bejeweled tones were a more novel approach to evening, but they didn't have the same appeal as Armani's assured tailoring.