Giorgio Armani floated into Paris on a cloud this season — a cloud of silk organdy, that is. His fleet of airy evening dresses made for an ethereal start to the couture season, and — minus Armani’s freakish dragonfly hats — these are just the kind of subtly crafted, unabashedly feminine dresses his clients, and potential fans, crave.
Armani eased up on the constructed look, giving his dresses an ever-so-prettily undone feeling. While this breezy attitude felt fresh, his approach was classical. In periwinkle blue, a sculpted plissé bodice tumbled along into an ultrasoft ballgown. An organdy number in pale pink came whorled with bold rosettes. Others were sprinkled with crystals. And for the individualists among his fans, Armani sent out a swirly printed column under a filmy veil of lace.
As light as the eveningwear was, however, by day the collection was weighty and overwrought — unless the target market is a bombshell arriviste new to Russian riches.
Armani’s Forties-era fascination inspired a slim silhouette with curvy jackets and wrapping tulip skirts. But too often the construction felt cumbersome, with stiff pleated lapels, spliced fabrics and high-standing collars. As for those behemoth collars, they are to the designer’s couture collections what wacky pants are to his ready-to-wear. Oh, for an Armani show without them.