The soundtracks designers choose can tell you an awful lot about their intentions. From the cheery whistling that launched the show to the well-seasoned croak of Leonard Cohen singing "I'm Your Man" later on, the music Giorgio Armani used for his Emporio collection created a composite image of a man brimming with self-confidence. So much so that he can toss a faux-fur stole over his tobacco velvet jacket without feeling his masculinity is remotely compromised.

Armani was in love with dandies this season. It wasn't just the leopard-print jacket, or the pony-print leather, or the graphic-print velvets, or the full trousers with their slight sparkle. It was the whole slicked-hair attitude, as insouciant as that whistle. Skinny rib knits were paired with satin trousers, and a suit in a classic Prince of Wales check was worn with sneakers. Tempting as it was to interpret the ambiguity as the fallout from Armani's work on the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely, it must be pointed out that the jacket on that suit was noticeably broad of shoulder—as unambiguously male as anything William Holden would have worn in his Hollywood prime.