The show opened with the words 'Made in Armani'. A counterpoint to an American Dream slogan by the same name, this is Giorgio communicating not just a wardrobe but his world. Beyond being Italian, thus classics transcended borders, time and occasion.
Double-breasted coats worn with silvery trousers got things off to a solid and shiny start. A grey jacket with a stand-away collar looked as soft as a cloud, sitting open with fastenings to the side. Crunchy and creased linens were fashioned into sporty hybrid pieces that were somewhere between an anorak and a frock coat. Slate coats were either matt pebble smooth or changeant silky, shell-like. Super textural, the palette came further alive via metallic bronze and grey plaids.
This collection was at times evocative but it was never really that flashy. The Emporio collection from this weekend - although not mainline 'Giorgio' - was arguably more aesthetically ostentatious than this collection. Yellow-lensed shades, a fully blown 19th century frock coat and a floral jacket provided somewhat of a bridge between the two collections. A crumpled, Yohji-esque near black suit was pretty sublime. A round of applause arose in the audience for an elegant draped trench in the finest of muslin silk.
A section in jewel tones of magenta pink, exotic jade and washed out indigo blue provided not just a pop but a serious undertone of the eighties. (Okay, maybe there was a little bit of flashiness in this collection.) Beach ready, riad ready, or yacht ready – the eighty Armani customers who were in attendance at the show were doubtless mentally packing suitcases whilst they watched. An additional section that closed the show saw immaculate, all white suiting walk the runway. As the models glided over a floor lit cream catwalk, this looked less like 'Armani land' and more the chicest of world-wide cults.