The Emporio Armani show today was called Al Momento. No English translation offered. Assuming it's not someone's name (Alberto Momento?), it might mean "At the moment." Was this Giorgio Armani's way of telling us that this is where his head is at right now, in a collection that brought masculine and feminine elements together more vividly than he has done in living memory? The first suit—gray, man-styled—had little of Armani's curvy slouch, but it was paired with heels. The next outfit was more feminine, but this time worn with loafers—and a collar and tie (no shirt). Both ensembles were topped by oversize bowler hats, because you have to allow Armani his headgear eccentricities.

All the models were rendered uniform by black wigs cut in an urchin crop…Oliver Twist, except that Oliver Twist's lower eyelids were never lined with icy turquoise. This effect gave the girls the glassy-eyed look of manga dolls. Their outfits, seesawing between elements of masculine and feminine, assisted in the impression of a new urban tribe, crossing time and place. The palette was a monochrome black and white, with one color accent: the aforementioned turquoise, which added a synthetic tinge to a silvery fur cape and a startling shot of color to a fitted little jacket that looked like it had been scissored from alien reptile hide. It was that kind of outré visual interest that gave the collection a new kind of kick, even when more predictable Armani elements asserted themselves. Pants pinstriped with pearls? Al momento, that's an appealing decorative notion.