MILAN — Giorgio Armani mixes geographies and eras in a complex Emporio Armani collection that proposes something of a revolution: fashion with dignity.
In the Emporio collection previewed Sunday, the fifth day of Milan Fashion Week shows, a bowler hat with a playful rounded rim sets a yesteryear tone, immediately contradicted by oversized Jaipur-style earrings as Armani travels time and the world in a glance.
The collection centered on a decidedly feminine silhouette. Short organza dresses were worn under wispy overcoats. Voluminous organza tops are belted over wide miniskirts. And long structural skirts are paired with warming mohair pullovers with three-quarter length sleeves, or fetching mohair sleeveless dresses with cropped pants. For Armani this round, mohair expresses fur. Double-breasted jackets were rounded at the hem for a ladylike look, and worn with organza skirts or trousers.
Colors also defined the collection's feminine mood. Armani chose icy shades of green, pink, purple, in contrast with the urban grays and blacks that are defining Milan runways this season. Even his darker colors were less somber, a royal purple, deep brown and regal olive green.
Velvety neoprene dresses rounded out the looks, some with billowing skirts, others with a sculptural wrap. The final piece was a red hourglass evening gown with bare arms for bracelets and a low V for a tangle of jeweled necklaces. The look was finished with a bejeweled bowler hat and ruby red slippers.
Otherwise, shoes are lace-up men's styles or comfortable flats with some heeled booties. Armani takes care of the hair question with a series of hats, mostly bowlers but also some Flapper-inspired caps with jeweled brooches.
Armani said through this collection he wanted to "propose something to be contemporary without losing dignity." It's a theme he has taken on in the past, the anti-vamp, using the influence of his runway to counter what has become the prevalent female media image in Italy, as sex object.
Singer Fergie attended one of the preview shows, along with Italian director Gabriele Salvatores.