Armani is feeling flirty for S/S 2013. It was legs-a-go-go on the Emporio runway as slack short shorts jostled for space alongside draped thigh-length dresses and flippy silk minis. 'Neat' was the given inspiration, realised through a familiar palette of neutral hues - no surprises there then - and comfortable, fluid shapes. Gone were the tricksy themes or costume-like accessories - inspired by film noir espionage and the like - replaced instead by clean items shaped around women's real lives. It was the humble daily make-up routine that struck Armani’s fancy, hence the palette of bare-faced nude and blush for day and shimmering bronzer-esque metallic for night.
While this collection was decidedly more modern and fresh compared with last season's dalliance with eighteenth century romance - remember those Bermuda bloomers? - the playfulness he toyed with for winter remained. Little flat shoes, Peter Pan collars, strapless tops and sugary knitwear duos - one model in baby pink, the other in baby blue - looked almost girly, a refreshing surprise given his usual commitment to androgyny. And while there was plenty of 'masculinity' on offer - thanks to slouchy camel trousers and easy waist-less jackets - the standout ethos of the collection was youthful femininity.
Armani runways can often feel chilly and emotionless, but this season the clothes felt fun, cool and, most of all, relevant. Who wouldn't want one of those on trend short suits or a pair of those shiny silver heels? Armani clothes always have some life off the runway - his sales are not to be argued with - but this season it felt like they all had actual spirit. It's set to be a fun summer for the Armani girl.