Sometimes it’s fine to state the obvious. Which is what Giorgio Armani did in the program notes for the spring collection he showed on Monday, citing a lineup of “beautiful clothes designed to meet the demands of everyday life.” Spot-on, Giorgio, and terrifically so. This was the Armani of old — read signature, not dated — before his innate chic pragmatism cross-pollinated with increasingly exaggerated elements of exotica. Here, he rejected such flourishes, at least for now, in favor of a more discreet kind of fashion delivered in a broad range of looks, but always with the simplest of common threads, an aura of romance and the distinct waft of fresh air.
As a result, the collection felt young, but not inappropriately so, starting with the girls’ lovely makeup and casually undone hair, which played into the nonchalant mood. Case in point: a series of one-button pastel jackets cut with the casualness of bed jackets and worn over rounded skirts in fabrics with a subtle sheen. Short dresses came either strapless or petaled into gentle layers. Armani’s sportiest looks were walking shorts, fuller-cut than those at Emporio, and a jacket, cut away discreetly over a tank and slim skirt. It came in fabrics that were mostly pale-toned and languid, to ebb and flow with the body’s movements.
Evening was gorgeous, as again, Armani took a savvy step back from grand bohemia in favor of diaphanous pastel gowns. They came in webby laces and delicate chiffons, aglow with crystal embroideries, each one a distinctive gem.