It was hard not to read between the lines at Giorgio Armani's exuberant Spring collection. As reported, the designer was ill with hepatitis earlier this year, but he's on the road to recovery now, and he sent out a colorful, youthful lineup that veritably shouted, "I'm feeling just peachy."
The show started off predictably enough with a jacket: a sharp, narrowly cut red, blue, and white houndstooth number, worn over a deep plunge-front top, loose-fitting pants cropped above the ankles, and flat sandals. Lots more jackets followed, some with origami-like pinches and folds at the upper arm (a subtle way to do the bold shoulder). Others were woven together from delicate ribbon, and still more glinted with allover crystal embroidery. They were worn with that casual (not-quite-a-) sweatpant or baggy pleat-front skorts.
It was mostly after-dark where the color came in. In tune with the season, Armani kept everything above the knee, adding panels of multicolor sequins to the bodices of fuchsia and royal blue taffeta numbers and beading every square centimeter of others. That should please the party set tremendously. They'll simply trade in the flat sandals the models wore on the runway for spiked heels.
This wasn't the classic, elegant, timeless Armani that his customers love him for; the designer was after something else here: a good bit of fun.