With iffy employment prospects for the young a sudden hard reality—and the competition for the few good jobs consequently all the fiercer—the idea of a viable go-to-work wardrobe might strike a new generation as sharply relevant for the first time in their lives. If so, Emporio Armani could be a port of call. The first tranche of today's collection recast career-appropriate clothing in ways that could be palatable for a girl who'd hate to be seen dead in her mother's kind of office uniform. Instead of a straight-up career suit, there was a jacket with a flippy godet skirt, and a matched short gray-blue dress and jacket with a modern-looking petaled swoop in front. Combinations of shrunken suede jackets and city shorts had the kind of proportions that nod to fashion but wouldn't look wildly gauche in a pitch meeting.

The vast Emporio line didn't stick wholly to that agenda, but amidst the merchandise lodged under the subsequent heading Spots and Stripes in Black and White, there were a ton of potential options for an aspiring new working woman. After that, though, the color was switched on—and turned up loud to coral, turquoise, and fuchsia—and it became more difficult to see where, exactly, the end user would find a place to wear these clothes. Things made more sense when it got to beachwear and scuba-cum-tropical-print bikinis. Those could give a girl another reason to shop for her vacation in 2010—provided she's got that paycheck coming in, of course.