MILAN

Byline:

EMPORIO ARMANI: REALITY BITES BACK
Emporio Armani: While stylists are virtually running the show at other houses, nobody reworks Giorgio Armani. And that means an Armani collection will never fall prey to photo-op frenzy. Someone’s got to care about making beautiful clothes for real people, and thank God, it’s Giorgio. In the Emporio collection he sent out on Monday, he bowled his audience over with seemingly effortless clothes that had good taste written all over them. This is a collection that has had its ups and downs over the years, but this time around, there wasn’t a question mark in sight.
Armani kicked his dress habit of the past few seasons and focused on what his customers love most — great jackets, the newest of which were short and fitted over wide pants. Some had bold double lapels; others were done in body-hugging knits and belted. His coats were equally brilliant, from the fitted peajacket to the knee-length pinstripe with a half-belt in back. Giorgio’s big surprise this season, however, is color, from winter pastels to his newfound passion for red. It was like a jolt of electricity, though this collection didn’t need it.

KRIZIA: STAYING POWER
Krizia: It couldn’t have happened at a better time. On the opening day of the retrospective celebrating her 40 years in business, Mariuccia Mandelli showed a Krizia collection that was a smash. Later, the opening party for the exhibit attracted more than 1,000 well-wishers, including the likes of Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana, Carla Fendi and Donatella Girombelli.
While Mariuccia’s collection itself took its cue from Forties Hollywood, this was anything but a retro indulgence. In fact, the clothes couldn’t have looked better — or more timely, starting with the suits. They were cut clean and curvy and came out in everything from wool tweeds and morning stripes to brown leather. There were also full-skirted dresses with cinched waists and colorful little cabled sweaters belted over flowing skirts. Mandelli presented it all in a smart, pared-down manner, styled with the help of her niece, Carolina Rosi, who joined the designer on the runway after the show.