Given that there were 100-plus outfits in the Emporio collection that Giorgio Armani showed today, it's small wonder the designer ran a soup-to-nuts gamut, from ski slope to trading floor to red carpet. What was surprising was the speed with which the parade passed. If Armani won't edit, he has at least picked up the pace. And it is some kind of testament to today's theme that there was also a lot to sustain the interest.

"Illusion" was the title Armani gave his collection. There was often a sense of things being not all that they seemed. The most striking example was the way wool was treated to look like astrakhan or moiré. That plushness carried throughout the show. The fabrics had an unusual depth. Gray was a dominant tone, but it was the gray of stones that had been crushed to reveal their glittering mineral core. The lustrous texture of pony and midnight navy and aubergine velvets added more tactility to the clothes.

Contrasting with all this high-touch plush stuff, Armani offered a new silhouette: a shorter, fitted jacket, closing high with three or four buttons, matched to slim, cropped trousers with a ribbed cuff (sartorial athleticism is a major Fall story in Milan). There was an urgent charge to the look that left you once again shaking your head at the prodigious drive of Milan's lion in winter.