Color? Been there and done that, last fall. For spring, Giorgio Armani offered a soulful alternative to this season’s often manic color plays. “Totally monotone,” his program notes proclaimed. The hue of choice: deep blue, from evocative indigos to almost black, inspired by the Tuareg, a nomadic Saharan people who often wear indigo blue veils.
Armani set the tone with stark, mesmerizing projections of the desert scape. Yet far from bleak, his collection was opulent in its textural richness and intricacies of cut. True, at times the trappings of nomadic life — turbans for everyone and some excessive swathing — jostled uncomfortably for attention with such demonstrative flourish as, say, a stiffened, multi-tiered mini skirt layered over pants. But overall, the collection was appealing and offered plenty to wear.
Armani’s preferred silhouette is linear. By day, that meant a jacket in one of countless renditions. Unlike at Emporio where the slim, shirred skirt featured so prominently, here pants, draped or pleated at the hips and narrow through the leg, anchored nearly every look. Often, a sheer middle piece fluttered from beneath a short jacket. The combination of textures — woven leather over sheer; wool suiting over charmeuse and hammered silk — and amulet baubles lent an air of exotica.
As for evening, who knew there were so many ways to work a navy dress? Armani draped, swirled, jeweled, asymmetric-ed bustiered and tiered his way through a lineup that was, given his parameters, remarkably diverse. Among the best: The embroidered gems that glistened like the desert sands at twilight.