The morning after the Oscars, and Giorgio Armani's catwalk was significantly free of anything that could be classified as a red-carpet look, bar, perhaps, the black sequined jumpsuit that had a dramatically lit spot all to itself at show's end. Easy Chic was his title for the collection. The dressiness of his closing looks, with their jackets of pavé sequins and dresses of crystal, all in hot orange, was something he imagined appealing to a younger constituency than the red-carpet crowd. And that's why those tricky bermudas made a reappearance from the Emporio show the other day. Admittedly, they were a much chicer proposition here, more formal in neatly creased black organza, but they were still an oddly polarizing anchor for a collection. Maybe they exemplified the "modern eccentric" note the designer feels his women seek from him, along with the classic Armani chords he struck with the great elongated jackets and pleated pants that opened the show. "Rockabilly," he called those looks, worn with mutant fedoras and flat shoes.

A few seasons ago, Armani showed a tour de force ready-to-wear collection inspired by Saharan skies at night. Here, the accent colors—oranges and pinks—suggested desert sunsets, but Armani also used the tones in more playful ways: in an in-your-face faux fur, for instance, or a velvet coat that was decorated with what looked like brightly hued capsules. His signature collection is usually a more sober, self-contained affair, but there was plenty here to suggest Armani was keen to engage with and maybe even provoke the world. He'd clearly told his models to look at the audience as they ambled down the catwalk, as opposed to sticking with the usual frosty thousand-yard stare. The wide-brimmed hats made it awkward, but nevertheless, the designer made his point.