If the Emporio
show's stated theme of film noir espionage sounded like it would gel perfectly with Giorgio Armani's own taste for forties films—and if such a theme also sounded well in step with Fall 2011's affection for that decade—the reality of the presentation was surprisingly different. Yes, they were all dressed in black, but the femmes in the show weren't particularly fatales. They wore Confederacy caps instead of fedoras, for Pete's sake. And if there was an occasional pencil skirt or broad-shouldered topcoat to provoke a vision of film noir's finest, the collection offered, for the most part, a numbingly comprehensive range of variations on pants, skirts, jackets, coats, and, for variety, jumpsuits. The guiding principle seemed to be a play with silhouette. The legs were, for instance, defined by spatslike appurtenances, a saddlebaglike belt created a pannier effect on the hips, shoulders were ruffled, and there were armlets that looked like leg-of-mutton sleeves. In a collection this big it wasn't hard to pluck out the pieces that fulfilled Armani's usual tenet of functional urban chic, and most of them were, unsurprisingly, jackets. A fringed blanket wrap made a more stylish accessory than the incongruous little terrier that nestled in one model's arms.