The water lilies floating in the digitally created water that 'flowed' down the centre of the Giorgio Armani runway created an eerie red glow.
That red was the motif for a collection where lightness of fabric — and even for big straw hats - produced clothes that were airy and transparent.
Armani had a phrase for the essence of this summer 2016 collection: the "fil rouge", or, red thread. And it did have a striking effect that the designer said was "about a new femininity, strong and powerful", and about "sensuality, but never in a way that is unsophisticated".
That was a big statement of intent for a light collection, where even the Armani trouser suit had been reduced to a play on airy organza. As the body inside moved, it seemed almost like an X-ray.
I was lined up to speak about Armani's monograph, published by Rizzoli, which covers his 81-year-old life story and celebrates his four decades in fashion - told in words and pictures.
The show was a fine example of a designer keeping the flame alive — literally, when using various shades of red from Chinese lacquer box through to geranium and rose. And with all that came clothes for summer living. These included suits that might be tailored jackets and skirts, sportier chiffon trousers with a mesh top or, conversely, smartened-up coats over dresses. A caftan occasionally wafted through, while a silken shorts suit had a jacket with splatters of red and blue, or was decorated more intensely with embroidered flowers.
Compared to some of the other collections from over the past 40 years, this was Armani-light. And that airy message fit perfectly with the overall mood of the Milan shows this season.