MILAN, Italy — The subject of identity is crucial in our age of both digital homogenisation and the resurgence of ancient fears. Fashion plays on the edge: on one side it ignites fearless and fierce style-individualism; on the other it promotes conformism. Ever the pragmatist, Giorgio Armani, for his Emporio Armani collection, simply explored his very own identity as a designer, hopefully also offering customers clothes simple enough to be adapted to their own identities. It's the usual Armani formula, in the usual Emporio urban/metropolitan mold, but it is always effective.
The designer is at his best when he goes fuss-free and concept-free, and the collection worked exactly for this reason. The giant fingerprint motif was maybe a tad too literal, and the odd touches of decoration — embroidered patches, a smattering of feathers — not very necessary, but, for the rest, the succession of soft, simple pieces had charm. It was a testament to the work of a designer whose aim, in his own words, is to produce things that "do not embarrass."