Giorgio Armani went exotic with his signature collection and racy with Emporio Armani, while Angela Missoni was inspired by “The Women” at Missoni.
Giorgio Armani: There are many sides to Giorgio Armani’s work, and he showed two quite different ones in his shows this week. His Giorgio Armani was an ode to the haute gypsy and Emporio Armani, her racy counterpart.
For his signature collection, Armani explored what he said in his program notes was a fusion of cultures. Perhaps that theme is what prompted him to open with a male model striking a pose in a dapper velvet suit, as if to say, I’m going exotic but the mood is understandably citified at heart. While that approach made for interesting viewing, it created a too-complicated jumble of ideas that lacked a strong singular focus. Among the key motifs: ample fit-and-flare action in demonstrative jackets over skirts that bunched, swirled or twirled; ballooning pants gathered at the sides; shawls or capes as layering pieces.
That said, one could certainly extract appealing clothes, starting with some smart trouser looks, most of which came in gray flannel or supple velvets, and some major statement jackets — a two-tone gray basket-weave parka; a feisty striped fur. And Armani introduced color in vibrant florals for a trio of long, lean skirts worn with fitted black velvet jackets. But they were just the beginning. Evening was all about pattern and embellishment in elaborately worked mélanges of prints, embroideries and daring fringe alternatives — one looked like thousands of shiny multicolored plastic bits, the other, endless miles of finely corded silk. Often, the gowns came shrouded in lace or chiffon for a woman-of-mystery vibe.
At Emporio Armani, the mood was of the modified vroom-vroom sort. Armani delivered the racy feel via looks kept lean and mean on top over volume either in full skirts or languid trousers that fall in with New York’s wide-pants trend. And oh, yes, the styling: big shades, animal-print accents, sensible shoes and a skinned-back-chignon-to-the-forehead coiffure that was, well, original. The clothes were sharp and precision-cut, starting with the jackets that ranged from a polite tweed spencer to peculiar motorcycle leather cut into an above-the-bosom bolero in front. But Armani relaxed on occasion, as with a charming bow-front cardigan a-pouf with pom-poms. Evening was all about glitter, with little cocktail dresses and beaded jackets or sweaters over velvet skirts because Armani gals love to light up the night.
Missoni: Has Angela Missoni done away with flash and fuss? Could be. She’s now several seasons into a more refined, restrained movement, one that showed no signs of stopping for fall, which, according to her show notes, was inspired by George Cukor’s 1939 film “The Women.” Indeed, there was no shortage of old Hollywood-heroine glamour in cashmere and mink stoles, mannish trousers, both wide and slim, and pencil skirts, many layered under slouchy, shoulder-baring tunics for a covered-up-yet-seductive look. And it was all made fresh, and ultra Missoni, once stamped with the house’s standard Seventies palette and graphic floral prints, some of which were decorated with sparkling paillettes for evening. As for those signature knits, they got the ladylike treatment, too, as linings of roomy jackets worn over matching drop-waist dresses, chunky kimono-sleeve pullovers and as V-neck sweaters veiled with a filmy layer of chiffon.