It seemed like an early celebration for Friday’s 80th birthday, when Giorgio Armani received the famous backstage: hugging his faithful actress friend Sophia Loren, flamboyant in scarlet; greeting Kate Hudson, in a diamond weave dress; and posing with the hirsute Jared Leto.
But Armani took it all in his stride.
‘Sometimes a nuance is enough,’ he said, to sum up the essence of the show.
A nuance? But this entire collection was one big riff on colour and shape. And shorts. The tailoring — always a forte for the genuine clients of the Armani Privé collection – almost replaced the skirt under swingy jackets.
This change in silhouette put the tailoring focus on wide, A-line jackets in pique or textured crepe, worn with shorts, slim skirts or narrow pants to create a trapeze silhouette.
Then there was red — the full-on scarlet that glowed from a digital backdrop of what looked like a shiny lacquer box.
‘My name is red!’ Armani might have shouted out. Was the insistent colour in the 71-piece show to symbolise a triumphant success in China? And the graceful scarlet wedding dresses a homage to their tradition?
A short coat dotted with red circles might even have been a reference to the Japanese flag. The audience included many Asian admirers.
But there were plenty of other clients because, while some designers may push the boundaries of couture, Armani makes clothes for women to wear.
Take away the whimsy — although the net veils, punctuated with furry balls, from milliner Philip Treacy, were rather charming — and there were real clothes. They were elegant and wearable, as well as fanciful.
This season there was a hint of the Italian Riviera, when women still paraded in smart outfits finished off with dainty, pointed-toe shoes.
As Armani himself said: it was his look with a nuance of the season.