NEW YORK, United States — Giorgio Armani Pre-Fall 2016 was not about anything in particular — and maybe that was the point. For lesser designers, a collection’s theme or inspiration can serve as a crutch. Even if the clothes are bad, then at least there’s a good story on which to fall back. Mr. Armani’s work, on the other hand, presumably doesn’t require such heavy-handed context.
And yet, the collection’s open-endedness was really the only thing stringing it all together. The first word in the notes was “freedom,” and there certainly was a looseness in the line-up, which hopscotched from a tiered ruffle frock that floated away from the body to a satin kimono jacket printed with a painterly floral. Well-crafted little blazers and jackets — in navy-and-white chevron, floral patchwork tweed or leather-lined shearling — had nothing much to do with the taupe velour gown embroidered with colourful eyelets.
For the most part, it was a fine strategy. Every piece was well-constructed and many stood confidently on their own. However, that approach can sometimes read as ambivalence. It would have been nice to see more looks like the multi-coloured tweed coat with a feathery fringe, paired with cropped velvet trousers. It was a forward-feeling ensemble that didn’t pander to trends and had a point of view.