Giorgio Armani is obsessed with light this season. His Emporio show sparkled
with hard starlight; his signature show shimmered with the translucent glow
of the moon on the sea—or the mother-of-pearl lining of a seashell.
Armani excels at translating such abstract notions into fabric. Here, there
were bias-cut silk jackets that did indeed look like nacre. And the three
graces that made an awkwardly stately exit at show's end were so drenched
with beads and crystals, they looked newly risen from the
There is always a very particular dignity in an Armani show. Equally, there are also times when he introduces a design flourish that compromises that dignity. The unique touch in today's show was the slit that bifurcated pant legs—only in this case, it wasn't a compromise moment. Instead, it had the vaguely Far Eastern flair that characterizes so much of Armani's work, especially when the pants were laid under a skirt and jacket whose shoulders extended into pagoda points. Perfectly serene.
In that spirit, Armani took the lapels and buttons off his jackets, using a single toggle or an invisible hook-and-eye as an alternative closing. You can feel him continually paring away, reducing to some fundamental element. As long as that element is water, he'll do just fine.