When it comes to fashion shows, Giorgio Armani's extravagance has given him more than enough opportunity to strike some of the odd chords that feed the naysayers' naysaying. And that's probably why those poor souls were getting used to the taste of crow this morning. As in, Armani sustained a sleek, alluringly modern note through his entire Emporio collection. The silhouettes were strong, the lines were long and lean. The palette was dominated by the shades of gray that currently rule Milan, but tones of camel and purple also impressed. The camel turned a rich butterscotch, purple opened up into violet.

Armani is often painted as a classicist. That's what more than 40 years in fashion will get you. But what stood out here was the energy and urgency of youth. The bonded leathers and wools and high-tech textures transformed classic overcoats, jackets, parkas, and cabans. Trousers were super-slim, built for speed. There was also some velvet and plush chenille, because you've got to have a soft side. But ultimately it was the speed racer momentum that whooshed the show to its conclusion.