The Emporio Armani collection previewed yesterday on the second day of Milan Fashion Week of women's wear previews for next summer and fall was a fashion battle cry.
Giorgio Armani takes his inspiration where he can find it freedom and self-determination are strong themes, he is for a woman's freedom to dress as she is - not as a stylist or anyone else wishes she would be. Yesterday Armani dipped rather reluctantly into Europe's pressing political question as Scotland convulsed the continent to vote on whether or not to become independent, at first demurring when asked if he supported independence for Scotland, then saying, "Yes."
But don't think he shies away from politics.
"It is time to reassess, to dress the women who we find around us, not just those who fit the extreme trends," Armani said backstage after the show.
The Emporio Armani, his line for the youthful if not necessarily young, collection fulfills this manifesto.
Armani created wide trousers, acknowledging and not negating the female hip like some fellow designers, in addition to close-fitting pants, cuffed above the ankles. Dresses both hugged the curves, with a neat wrap around the waist, or fell loosely around the hips.
Underlying the Emporio line's playful youthfulness, Armani incorporated PVC materials into the clothing, as panels on trousers, under-layers peeking out of the hems of Bermuda shorts, or, most dramatically, as bodices on cocktail dresses.
The Emporio Armani battle hue is blue, more specifically soothing yet electrifying cornflower blue.
For Armani, blue is more versatile, grabbing the light, noting that "when I am dressed in black, I don't feel well." On a personal level the designer typically dresses in a dark navy blue pullover with matching trousers for his runway shows, acknowledging that it can be easily confused with black - but with important, really revolutionary, differences.