"This collection confirms a style that has changed the face of fashion," the program notes stated. That's not too bold of a claim when it comes from a designer like Giorgio Armani, the man who rethought the modern suit, then put his own sparklingly sinuous stamp on red-carpet wear. His Spring collection had both of those signatures in spades.

The show opened with elongated one-button jackets in traditional suiting fabrics. The ones that followed had a similar slight flare below the waist or a ruffle of pleats at the back, but they were made in fluid jerseys and shown with pleated and tapered silk pants, long shorts, or tucked-hem skirts. The wet-look hair and glistening makeup that was perhaps conceived to reinforce the show's breezy "Joy to Wear" message was too much of a good thing, but it was refreshing to see some big-name models on Armani's runway.

And speaking of big names, how fitting that Cate Blanchett was in the audience today: Armani has no better emissary for the sort of body-skimming beaded stunners in which he specializes. He sent out one-shoulder cocktail dresses and wispy chiffons in soft pastels, but they were just an opening act for his finale: a parade of beaded and embroidered long dresses that glimmered without veering into glitz. Had the timing been different, Jessica Stam's strapless number would certainly have surfaced on the red carpet at last night's Emmys.