The languid, sensual summers of southern Italy were Giorgio Armani's starting point this season—or so his program notes said. From the looks of the silk "trousers tied at the knee," the long wrapping scarves in glittering beads, and the harem-pant gowns, he could have been revisiting India (the country that inspired his terrific Privé couture show in January) by way of the Middle East. While this collection didn't pack quite the knockout punch that Privé did, it scored points with some lovely clothes.

Whatever the inspiration for those unusual pants, Armani came up with an endless variety of covetable tops to wear with them: short jackets, in gray or navy, over longer silk tunics; crocheted cardigans dusted with glitter; slim, almost mannish, blazers; and beaded racer-back evening tanks, the best an emerald-green version that, one editor whispered, would be great with a regular pair of jeans.

Looking beyond the I Dream of Jeannie evening jumpsuits, Armani showed an array of real-life after-dark options, ranging from red-carpet crystal-beaded gowns with deep fringe below the knee to less formal, but no less special, styles with bamboolike embroidery that should play to the crowds descending on his new Tokyo flagship when it opens in Ginza this November. Milan, Japan, or Mumbai—Armani's brand of romance knows no borders.