The show opened with an advertisement for Emporio Armani's new fragrance, Diamonds, starring Beyoncé Knowles performing the famous Marilyn Monroe tune ("I don't mean rhinestones!" et cetera). Wanton commercialism? Maybe. But there's no denying Armani was onto something: A few hours later, Frida Giannini would kick off the Gucci show with a perfume ad directed by David Lynch. If nothing else, the coincidence gave the "Beyond trends" phrase Armani flashed across his runway backdrop an extra spin.

But it has to be said: This little-sister line did have it all. There were an array of jackets, in black-and-white checks, in wool bouclés, in washed silks—the best was an elongated satin-lapelled tux worn with short shorts. Rhinestone-encrusted halters also made the lineup, as did crystal-studded strapless tops, sequined tanks, and modified versions of those knee-tied pants Armani showed on Monday. Then there were brief minis, poufy skirts that came with matching knickers, and silk tap pants. If you want a romper, Emporio's got those, too. Holding it all together was a "Don't worry, be happy" attitude that should go over well with the Beyoncé generation. And how about those smiles on the models' faces?