Fashion is all about counterpoint. And counterpoint is what Giorgio Armani served up this week in two very different outings. Though he packed both his Emporio and Giorgio Armani shows with his renowned signatures, Armani kept the former spirited and young, and the latter, shown on Friday, ultrasophisticated, befitting ladies who prefer their chic with an aura of grandeur.


Armani announced the mood — and the significant departure from last season’s more relaxed vibe — with his models’ demeanor. They engaged in some vintage modeling, all swinging hips and twirls aplenty. Hello, Eighties, you say? You bet. And if the oil-slick shiny patent newsboy caps and long gloves went too far in that direction, the clothes offered plenty of high glam of the sort Armani ladies love. The designer threw lots of curves, starting with jackets that were as simple as a strong-shouldered one-button jacket in a tiny zigzag pattern or as optical as a peplum number in what looked like a gray-and-white wallpaper pattern. Sweeping capes played into Milan’s volume story, while little shawl-collared shrugs fastened to one side with a brooch. Many of these were worn with relatively easy skirts, rounded through the hips. As for the pants, however, not so forgiving; they couldn’t be skinnier.


Evening was all about sparkle. And why not, considering how breathtaking Anne Hathaway looked at the Oscars? A cocktail dress with an asymmetric neckline featured bold decoration on one shoulder; another look paired a glistening faux-layered bustier-and-tank with a velvet skirt. But it was the gowns, languid allover embroidered beauties, that really shone. True, the footwear was regrettable; the glam-gown-wacky-boot shtick is best for those of an age ending with the word “teen.” But ditch the boots and, as the gorgeous Miss Hathaway illustrated so perfectly, Armani’s evening stunners are, to crib from his soundtrack, simply the best.

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