September 20, 2006
This season, the Emporio Armani show was less about what was on the runway than what was going on around it. Giorgio Armani transplanted his presentation to Earls Court exhibition center in London, invited Beyoncé Knowles and 50 Cent to perform in front of a massive audience, andfor good measureasked Bono, Bobby Shriver, Ashley Judd, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kim Cattrall, and Alicia Keys to speak. It was all in aid of charitythe RED initiative to raise money for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Bono spoke of the 30 cents it costs for the two pills it takes to tackle HIV, and proselytized the RED slogan: "Shop till it Stops." As for the collection, in broad terms, it was all short: short taffeta dresses, shrunken jackets in pinstripe, and shorts done in a half-dozen varieties of tailored and puffy shapes, and it all came in black, gray, red, and white. Certainly, the clothes conveyed Armani's abiding aesthetic, but in the end, the event wasn't about fashion trendsit was about pulling back to look at a bigger picture.