Giorgio Armani was looking abroad for his Autumn/Winter 2013 Emporio Armani collection. It's not the first time he's cast his eyes across the seas, but this collection was a more complex voyage that occurred across both geographies and eras. Titled 'Jamal', the show seemed to be channelling the twenties and also the sartorial traditions of different cultures. So those cloche hats and neat demure jackets could have dropped straight out of interwar Britain, whereas those dress and trouser combos, layered like saris, could have been from Asia. Accessories, including oversized hoop earrings and gem-incrusted hats, were a more obvious nod to the Orient.
Despite the Jaipur-inspired bling, the meat of this collection was classic Italian Armani. Those same watery tones and clean lines that have become so synonymous with his work were present as ever. Indeed, everything seemed extra-specially light and fluffy this season, whether it was those voluminous shapes that sat away from the body or those baby blue and pink gauzed mohair cloud jumpers and dresses. The palette in particular was overtly soft, all creamy pastels and soft neutral hues. In the best instances it looked aloof and feminine in that signature, chilly Armani way, but at points it veered into mother of the bride territory, especially given the fluidity of those coat dresses, bermuda shorts and oversized trousers. Still, there's no shame in that. What chic older lady wouldn't want to rock Armani when watching her child walk the aisle?
All in all the majority of the pieces on show had that classic subtle Armani otherworldly allure. Yet, that trio of sparkly bowler hats towards the end of the show were more obviously from a different planet - though they would have made a very welcome shield from the fast-falling snow outside.