The show was called PlugIn, and the backdrop was a panel of fizzing light that, at one point, resolved itself into the word "ELECTRIC." But anyone expecting this to signal a parade of high-tech, high-voltage fashion from Giorgio Armani would have been on the wrong track. The emphasis was on softness (especially with jackets that often veered into cardigan country) and texture (fabrics of choice? Knits and velvet). And the models moved so slowly that the application of an electrode or two to juice them up a little wouldn't have gone amiss.

Armani claimed the contemporary music scene as part-inspiration, but he didn't seem to have in mind the rail-thin rakes that other designers have latched onto. Jackets were cut smaller and shorter, but his muses favored a smart pinstripe with blue-or-burgundy velvet trousers, and maybe a mock croc shoe. For night, they'd wear a velvet blazer with their jeans, and a velvet kerchief knotted gypsy-style.

The rock influence was perhaps best traced in the collection's laid-back mood—a suit over a V-neck (no shirt), for example. And there was a hint of electricity in metallic blousons and an electric-purple jacket with tight little sleeves. Overall though, this felt less like a departure than a typical Armani take on relaxed elegance.