Few collections designed for real women at accessible prices ever get into the international fashion spotlight, but Emporio Armani does. The label once had the feel of a junior second line, but now the remit of Emporio has broadened to span the everyday lifestyle needs of women across a wide age range.

For Fall 2002, Emporio showed coats for every occasion from tough, fur-edged, black jackets, through roomy macintoshes with asymmetric sporty zippers to more formal, precisely fitted wool princess coats. While a masculine theme incorporated an oversized jacket shown with slouchy wide pants and mannish vests with cutaway racer backs, it was the Emporio advance on the feminine front that came as more of a surprise. High heels—a sighting as rare as the unicorn on an Armani runway—appeared in an extensive evening section that featured easy-to-wear velvet jackets and skirts, some with paper-bag waistlines and wide-sleeved blouses cut to slide on the body. But when bare dresses with plunging necklines edged in bugle beads ended the show, the audience was in shock: sex is turning up in some very unexpected places this season.