For its Spring/Summer 2014 ready-to-wear collection, "Water Lilies," Emporio Armani created an "enchanted world, filled with suspended visions of gardens at the beginning of time."
But given that the Milan show took place in a cold, concrete space with a minimalist interior, it took some imagination to get there -- especially as the collection was so subtle.
Inside, delicate water nymphs took bold strides down an unadorned runway, their hair curled cherub-style around metal pins, revealing bright, mischievous faces. They came dressed for an elegant stroll through the garden, wearing flared, double-pleated trousers, which nipped in around the ankle paired with "avant-garde" jackets in unusual cuts. On their feet were sandals bearing flower motifs, conveying a sense of youthfulness repeated in the cocktail dresses as well.
There were also models dressed for parties between the “rippling waters” and “shadows of plants,” as Armani described in the show notes, wearing light tulle dresses covered in crystals, resembling fireflies.
Adding a modern edge to the collection were dresses paired with grungy leggings that were supposed to cover the skin like a tattoo -- except they came in plain light colors instead of “Love U Mum” hearts.
Armani said the collection lay somewhere between abstraction and realism, although several outfits were seemingly Impressionistic, including a pair of flowery trousers with a faded aesthetic and a feminine, silk jumpsuit worn with a black and white printed jacket. Dominated by watery shades of blue-gray and floral pinks, the outfits sported themes from nature, including tropical blooms and floral combinations.
Apart from some shiny surfaces on jackets, the collection felt elegant, sporty, and light -- like an updated look for youthful society jaunts at the Riviera from yesteryear.